On the occasion of the CEFTA Chairmanship of the Republic of Serbia in 2017, the CEFTA Secretariat organises a Panel Discussion together with the Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the EU, and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia in Brussels on 01 February 2017. The Panel Discussion will be devoted to the presentation of the CEFTA Chairmanship priorities of Serbia.
The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is a modern and comprehensive regional free trade agreement, signed in 2006 and under implementation for 10 years. CEFTA is designed as an integral part of its Parties’ pre-accession agenda and in line with their commitments to the WTO. CEFTA provides with an excellent framework within which to devise and implement policies that are non-discriminatory, transparent, and predictable and that enhance the flow of goods, investment, services and people within the CEFTA Region. CEFTA is supported by a permanent international secretariat, located in Brussels.
In its 10 year of implementation, CEFTA has so far proven its success by liberalising trade in goods through eliminating all duties and quotas. Furthermore, the public procurement markets of CEFTA Parties become non-discriminatory to each other; transparency enhanced by introducing electronic notification mechanisms for TBT and SPS measures among CEFTA Parties, setting up the reporting system for state aid schemes, and recording, classifying and reporting bi-lateral market access barriers by using international standards. In 2017, deepening of CEFTA to trade facilitation and liberalisation of trade in services is expected through two new Protocols to be added to the main agreement.
Both the implementation of CEFTA and the CEFTA structures receive substantial level of political, technical, and financial assistance of the European Union. CEFTA has also become one of the most successful regional initiatives, and situates at the core of trade policy related commitments made by the Western Balkans Summits in the framework of the Berlin Process.
Building upon the successes recorded by the previous CEFTA Chairmanships, the Serbian Chairmanship of CEFTA in 2017 will aim to make efforts to create CEFTA Regional Market on the basis of EU compliance of CEFTA Parties, with the aim to multiply economic benefits of the EU alignment process at the national level by integrating the economies in CEFTA. This strategic objective will be built upon the actions under the following priority areas of the Serbian Chairmanship:
- consolidating, strengthening, deepening the implementation of CEFTA;
- sustaining synergy between implementation of CEFTA and the SEE 2020,