WB6 leaders in Skopje underscore the paramount significance of cooperation within the region and integration with the European Union

During the WB6 leaders and partners Conference “Growth Plan-Western Balkans meets EU” in Skopje on January 22nd 2024, Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum took active part in the discussion emphasizing the importance and benefits of the newly adopted Growth Plan for Western Balkans. The Conference focused on the first two pillars of the Growth Plan aiming at enhancing economic integration with the European Union’s single market and boosting economic integration within the Western Balkans through the Common Regional Market, based on EU rules and standards.

During the consultation process related to the preparation of the document, in close cooperation with European Commission and companies from the region, Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum assured that document integrates the needs and recommendations proposed by the Western Balkans business sector.

WB6 CIF President, Mr. Lulzim Rafuna stated “We extend our sincere thanks to our colleagues at the European Commission for making sure that the voices and perspectives of regional businesses are integrated into the consultation process. This inclusion shows a commitment to understanding the needs and aspirations of the private sector. Since its establishment in 1993, the EU single market has been a driving force for growth, job creation, and addressing current challenges. Today, as we approach the prospect of integrating our economies into this vast market, we recognize the transformative potential it holds. The new Growth Plan, carefully prepared by the European Commission, aims to bring forward the benefits of EU membership, stimulate economic growth, and accelerate socio-economic convergence in the Western Balkans.”

President Rafuna highlighted the importance of the close cooperation between public and private sector in the region in order to make concrete and tangible results „The Growth Plan is not the conclusion of our journey, but rather the beginning of a comprehensive and collective effort. As we move forward, we expect commitment, responsibility, and dedication both from Western Balkan national governments and EU policymakers in implementing every aspect of the plan. We invite national authorities to, as well as openness to consult and listen the business sector when it comes to designing and implementing the national reform agendas especially regarding national priorities related to the implementation of the Common Regional Market Action Plan as a stepping stone towards EU Single Market. Being an integral stakeholder, the Chamber Investment Forum stands ready to support this process, advocating for real benefits to reach our companies as soon as possible.”

In parallel with the Growth Plan, the development of the Common Regional Market Action Plan 2.0 (CRM AP 2.0) under the Berlin Process remains a top priority for our business community.
In this regard WB6 leaders emphasize the significance of collaboration among regional organizations during the preparation of this strategic document and recognized our Association as driver of the process articulating the needs and aspirations of local businesses in the process, jointly with the Regional Cooperation Council, CEFTA and the Energy Community and Transport Community.


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