An open Balkans is an opportunity for Serbia and for all economies in the region

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The Open Balkans is a support to the existing regional initiatives in the Western Balkans, their concretization and response to the demands of the economy, companies and real life. This is something that will bring benefits in everyday business, create more new jobs, money and jobs for the benefit of citizens and the region’s economy, said Marko Cadez, president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce in an interview with Albanian TV channel Top Channel.
“The initiative itself comes from companies, and it implies that there are no delays at the borders, free movement of people, common market. This initiative is not political, but there is support and political will to do something,” said Cadez, adding that he expected all the economies of the Western Balkans to join the Open Balkans, in addition to Serbia, Albania and Northern Macedonia.
“Some may want to wait to see what the benefits of all this are, but the initiative is an opportunity for all economies. I think that next year we will talk about all six economies of the Western Balkans, which together will contribute to the further development of the common regional market and the Berlin Process. It is important that we solve problems and remove barriers, which will enable us to be competitive in Europe and to operate on the global market,” Cadez pointed out.
“So that we can register electronically and get a work permit for any economy in the region, I hope in all six, that people and trucks do not stop at the borders, that the costs of goods we sell are lower than those in other markets, that people see results and benefits, to look less and less at each other as foreigners through differences but through common interests. We already have that in Europe, we should not invent hot water, but realize something that is really normal for the global economy and politics,” he said.
Cadez pointed out the concrete advantages of the common labor market, harmonization of certificates and other documents that will bring visible results very soon.
“The common labor market will have great advantages, especially in seasonal employment. Albania is increasingly developing the tourism sector and building beautiful places on the sea, there are more and more tourists and like any tourist country it has a problem with the labor market and has to solve the problem of seasonal employment in the summer. Why not allow students to come and work during the summer,” said Cadez.
He also stated the importance of speeding up the transport of, for example, fresh vegetables, which will be made possible by recognizing mutual analyzes.
“We must no longer allow trucks with fresh fruits and vegetables to wait for hours, to do special analyzes, because some certificates have not been recognized, and the goods are perishing,” Cadez said.
Speaking about the bilateral economic relations between Serbia and Albania, Cadez reminded that the cooperation is very intensified, that in the past eight years the trade exchange has doubled to 250 million euros and that this year it was higher by about 27 percent with mutual growth.
“The development of trade relations is visible, but also the development of joint affairs. You have large companies from Albania, such as the Agna Group, which buy companies in Serbia and operate successfully. You have Serbian companies buying Albanian companies like Nelt who bought Albkorp which is also a successful distributor and freight forwarding company in Albania. It is not just a trade exchange, but building trust in the business community. That is why the economies of Serbia, Albania and Northern Macedonia demanded concrete steps through the “Open Balkans” initiative, and I think we have the first real steps,” Cadez explained, Danas reports.