CEFTA region becomes one market

November 10, 2020

The Action plan for establishing Common Regional Market was endorsed by the WB6 leaders

10/11/2020, Brussels/Sofia: Western Balkan leaders, today at the meeting within the Berlin Process, have agreed to enhance economic cooperation in the region by developing Common Regional Market, based on the EU rules and standards, to increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of the region and to bring the region closer to the EU.

The Action Plan lays out the steps towards the establishment of the Common Regional Market with Regional Trade Area based on the four freedoms at its core and enriched with digital, investment and innovation and industry areas. With a population of nearly 18 million people, the WB6 region is an important market for Balkan companies and a springboard to EU and global markets. This is why regional economic integration can generate up to 6.7% of additional GDP.

CEFTA will take an active role in implementation of the key activities from the plan.  In the next four years, CEFTA will focus on concrete results for the benefit of our companies and citizens. Enabling Regional Trade Area based on the free movement of goods, services, capital and people will:

  • Reduce waiting time on BCPs/CCPs for 30% by implementing set of measures that includes extension of the Green Lanes and simplification of the procedures supported by Systematic Electronic Exchange of Data SEED+
  • Reduce the trade costs and bureaucracy by mutual recognition programs
  • Facilitate e-commerce by ensuring access to all markets in the region.
  • Provide a fast track toward single EU market

“Integrated market of 18 million people is more competitive on the European and global scene and more attractive for foreign investors. Furthermore, establishing Common Regional Market will help the region in the process of adopting EU standards and approaching the single EU market.” – said Mr. Mr Emir Djikic today at the Sofia Summit.

CEFTA will be crucial for implementation of the key activities in regional trade area, but also in other areas of the plan, along with Regional Cooperation Council, Transport Community, WB6 Chamber Investment Forum and other partners.

“We want to promote e-commerce and “paperless” trade but we also believe that CRM will provide development of the regional agro-food industry, attract global investors and create new jobs as well as increase the choice of goods and services offered at lower prices.” – highlighted Mr Djikic.

EU remains a key partner for WB6 in the implementation of this ambitious and transformative Action plan because a strong and thriving Western Balkans represents an indispensable contribution to European economy and security and helps shape the future of our shared continent.

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