An Outreach and Visibility event named “Republic of Macedonia- 10 Years of CEFTA” was held in Skopje on October the 5th. The well attended event gathered the participants from different structures and institutions like governmental bodies, three chambers of commerce, private sector and academic community. The event was strongly covered by the journalists from TV, electronic and printed media and the reports were presented after the event in all the media. The event was opened by Mr. Driton Kuqi, Minister of Economy. He pointed in his speech the importance of CEFTA for the region, the numerous achievements during the period of implementation and current issues. Mr. Arbr Ademi, Vice president of the Government of Republic of Macedonia in charge of European Integration, pointed in his welcome speech the importance of CEFTA for its members for the integration process into European Union. It was stressed that CEFTA activities are integrated part of more domestic and regional strategic documents. Minister Driton Kuqi had a statement for the issues of CEFTA cooperation for the media. Different aspects of the event were presented in front of the audience. Within the thematic block of the presentations for the Regional achievements of CEFTA, Ms. Zorica Smileva, Contact point of CEFTA spoke about the importance of trade policy of CEFTA for Republic of Macedonia. The economic aspects of the agreement with its achievements were presented in comparative manner with the flagships of Strategy SEE 2020. The current activities and their importance for the business sector were pointed also. Mr.Umut Ergezer, Acting Director of CEFTA Secretariat had a presentation for the CEFTA Priorities in 2016. He pointed the need of the countries for EU integration and the specific needs of each of CEFTA members in this process. The wide aspects of CEFTA were presented and also the current status of latest developments in CEFTA connected with the trade facilitation and facilitation in trade of services.
Academic views under the title “Republic of Macedonia 10 years after joining CEFTA “were presented by PhD Irena Kikerkova from Faculty of Economics, Skopje and PhD Silvana Mojsovska from Economic Institute, Skopje. Ms. Kikerkova gave presentation of the development of trade within CEFTA by quantity and structure with specific characteristics for each CEFTA member. She pointed on the role of different non trade barriers with influence on CEFTA trade for its members. Ms. Mojsovska gave also the scope of the non trade barriers research in the past period evaluated by the OECD study, their identification ,their influence on CEFTA trade and ways of elimination the barriers. She also presented the importance of method of transparency in order for better scope of trade obstacles.
In the second thematic part of the event named “Importance of CEFTA for Republic of Macedonia- Overview of the latest projects”, Ms. Zorica Smileva gave short introduction for the past and current projects in CEFTA. Ms. Sonja Andonova was speaking for the CEFTA features within the GIZ ORF projects for the regional cooperation as an instrument for improving free trade and competitiveness in the region. The role, the projects approach of the sub projects supported by GIZ ORF: Transparency Pack, Diagonal Cumulating, Addressing Market Access Barriers and expected results, were presented.
The third thematic part of the event was about the negotiations within the current activities in CEFTA. Ms. Biljana Dodevska from Ministry of Economy had a presentation about the current state of play in the negotiations for trade facilitations. She was speaking about the need for negotiating Additional protocol 5 for facilitating trade, its strategic approach, purpose and key institutions for implementing the Protocol. Mr. Ilir Sabani from the Ministry of Economy presented the purpose of the negotiations, the process, and the areas of covering of the negotiations, the current results, and the service sectors agreed for full and those with partly limitation in different sectors and those with partly liberalization. Also he presented the further activities in these negotiations.
The last thematic part was Panel discussion within the public –private dialog, with questions and answers. The two panelists were Mr. Mitko Aleksov, Executive Director of the Macedonian Chambers of Commerce and Ms. Jadranka Arizankovska, Senior advisor from the Economic Chamber of Macedonia. Mr. Aleksov presented the experience of the cooperation of their members with the companies from the CEFTA region. He stressed out the different obstacles that infringe the CEFTA trade. He also spoke about the problems that some exporters/importers were faced with and despite that it had occurred in occasional cases, they also can cause delays and increasing the costs of trade logistic. He expressed his satisfaction with the good cooperation of their members with the governmental institutions and their expectations that it will continue. Ms. Arizankovska spoke also of the experience of their members within the CEFTA trade and their expectations to be involved in the work of the CEFTA bodies as it was previously asked within the CEFTA Forum of Chambers of Commerce. She stressed out the importance of CEFTA trade having in mind the export and import exchange with the CEFTA members for Republic of Macedonia.
Within the panel discussion, the questions by the participants were posted relating the achievements in CEFTA, academic point of view about the trade exchange results and expectations from further regional integration ongoing process. The participants got answers from Faculty of Economics presenter, Acting director of CEFTA Secretariat, two panelists from chambers of commerce and Ministry of Economy representatives.
Ms. Zorica Smileva made the final conclusions from the event, pointing the importance of the event relating the informing business sector about the latest developments in CEFTA. She also stressed out the importance of transparency for facilitating the trade within CEFTA and the willingness of the Government and related bodies to cooperate intensively with the updated information for the business sector and in preparing the trade legislative.
For presentation delivered during the event please click at the presentation below
Republic of Macedonia 10 years after joining CEFTA