Within CEFTA Week, on 7th December as an online event was held presentation of the third report “Monitoring the implementation of the Common Regional Market Action Plan (2021-2024) – Key business insight on priority action points”, which was prepared by the Regional Center for Economic Analysis (RCEA) of Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum (WB6 CIF).
The event was opened with introductory remarks of Mrs. Tatjana Shterjova Dushkovska, Secretary General of the Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum (WB6 CIF). Also introductory remarks had David Hudson, DG NEAR-Western Balkans Policy & Regional Strategy- Economic Governance and Trade in the Western Balkans, Emir Djikic, CEFTA Director and Pranvera Kastrati, RCC Senior Expert on Economic and Digital Connectivity & Coordinator of Common Regional Market.
After the introductory remarks followed the presentation of the report, presented by Bojan Stanic, RCEA Coordinator and Deputy Director in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia. This report was based on the views of 1150 companies from the WB region and it provides an opportunity for the business community to assess the potential of the common market by drawing lessons from the current phase of economic development, as well as to define and report on key performance indicators for the Western Balkan Common Regional Market Action Plan.
The presentation covered the following main topics:
– Key Survey results within the key areas of the common regional market
– Personal views presented by successful business people in the region
– Macroeconomic overview of the Western Balkans
– Highlightes related to the socio-economic policy in the region under pressure of geopolitical risks
Тhroughout the presentation Мr. Stanic pointed out that was reached significant growth of Western Balkans economy in 2021 (7.6%), and were created 227,300 new jobs in the region with unemployment rate of 13.9%. The export from Western Balkans in 2021 reached EUR 40.0 billion, which completely exceeded the volume of exports from the pre-pandemic year 2019 (EUR 33.1 billion). The export of services reached EUR 18.5 billion, slightly above the level of pre-pandemic exports. The economies of the Western Balkans now face an unusually uncertain outlook, the baseline projection for GDP growth in 2022 in the Western Balkans is now 3.1%, a downward revision by almost one percentage point.
The event ended with open discussion with regional stakeholders and representatives of the private sector.