Tirana, September 26th 2023
Meeting of the Berlin Process’ Ministries of Economy has been organized in Tirana, as part of Albania’s chairmanship of the Berlin Process and preparation for the next Berlin Process Summit, which will be held on October 16th 2023.
President of the Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum, Mr Lulzim Rafuna joined Ministers of Economy, representatives of the European Union, and other partners to the Berlin Process to discuss on the Common Regional Market – a stepping stone towards the EU’s Single Market. A video address was also given by the Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement of the EU, Oliver Varhelyi, who announced the new plan for economic growth in the Western Balkans, which should accelerate the economic convergence of the region, which is currently at a low level.
All speakers reflected on the achievements, priorities, and main challenges in the implementation of the Action Plan for the Common Regional Market, while the focus was placed on the opportunities for the advancement of the Action Plan, for encouraging economic growth, the future of investments in the region through trade facilitation and the implementation of projects for the transport infrastructure, as well as the integration of payment systems and the preparation of the economies of the Western Balkans for integration in the euro area. It was highlighted that advancement of the regional integration through the Berlin Process as an important instrument for accelerating the economic convergence of the region with the European Union.
Participants recalled that the finalisation of the Western Balkans Common Regional Market is of importance to improving competitiveness, the business environment and deepening regional economic integration. Completing these steps would significantly increase the Western Balkans’ economic growth and attractiveness as a destination for investments and bring it closer to EU Single Market.
As a part of the conclusions, Ministers took the note of the achievements under the Regional Suppliers Development programme implemented by the Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum (WB6 CIF), and welcomed the role played by the private sector in the implementation of the CRM. They expressed strong support for continuation of this WB6 CIF led programme and supported further interlinking this programme with national support mechanisms in the region, to ensure SMEs participation in multinational supply chains and establishing new regional partnerships between WB6 companies.
Ministers also welcomed the continuation of cooperation through the Regional Challenge Fund (RCF) in the Western Balkan initiated by the BMZ and KfW and implemented by the Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum (WB6 CIF) to support youth employability and economic growth. They support the continuation of this programme through vocational training and job creation to offer young people better prospects at home.