President of the WB6 Chamber Investment Forum Marko Cadez appealed to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen for urgent and concrete assistance to the Western Balkans to mitigate the negative effects of the Covid-19 preventing measures.
The request for support to overcome the problems the Western Balkan companies are facing, caused by the corona-virus pandemic, was also addressed to Phil Hogan, the European Commissioner for Trade and to Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Enlargement.
Western Balkan companies are daily faced with an increased inability to deliver required materials and components to EU-based parent companies on a timely basis, while truck drivers face additional challenges in delivering goods due to various quarantine regimes at the EU’s internal and external borders, the letter said.
The Western Balkan countries must be integrated into the “green corridors” scheme, the letter stresses, also pointing out that unimpeded import of EU raw materials are needed to produce primary products in order to maintain production capacities of companies in the region.
A special appeal was made concerning the involvement of the Western Balkan countries in the joint procurement of medical and protective equipment, as well as the exclusion of the Western Balkans from the decision that establishes restrictions to the export of protective medical equipment, previously adopted by the European Union.
Protective equipment is needed not only for health systems in the Western Balkan countries, but also for companies, in order not to halt production. The situation companies in the Western Balkans are facing will also affect the European Union, as many companies in the region are part of the EU supply chain.
The Western Balkans chambers of commerce, through the WB6 CIF association, are in constant communication with their governments and business communities, and actively working on proposing measures to facilitate business operations, maintain economic viability and minimize the serious consequences for the Western Balkan economies caused by the corona-virus pandemic.