From 6-8 October 2009 the Workshop on Implementation and Potential Effects of SAP+ Cumulation took place in Bečići, Montenegro. The Workshop was organised by the Centre for European Perspective (CEP) in cooperation with CEFTA Presidency – Montenegro and CEFTA Secretariat.
The Workshop was welcomed by the Deputy Minister for Economic Development of Montenegro, Mr Goran Ščepanović, who pointed out, that such an event is important as it brings possibility for discussion and open dialogue on the important topic for trade development in the region, namely the rules of origin. He emphasized some significant impacts of the rules of origin on economy, such as the possibility of selling products in larger market and competitiveness of domestic economy.
CEP Programme Director, Ms Andreja Dolničar Jeraj pointed out the main goal, which needs to be achieved, namely to create more favourable economic environment for Western Balkan and all other European companies. She stressed that we all have the same goal however there are many ways for its achievement and these ways are to be discussed at the Workshop.
Mr Marjan Strle from the Customs Administration of the Republic of Slovenia drew attention to the importance of the rules of origin as a tool for trade policy measures.
The workshop was attended by 24 legal and customs experts from EU, EFTA and Western Balkans as well as decision-makers from ministries from Western Balkan countries, responsible for foreign economic relations.
At the Workshop different systems of cumulation of origin were compared and their implications were presented with practical examples. The Workshop was focused on steps for operationalisation of SAP cumulation and possible technical solutions for the introduction of SAP+ cumulation (i.e. the inclusion of the Western Balkan countries in the Pan-European cumulation system between EU, EFTA and Turkey).
The main purpose of the workshop is empowering CEFTA Parties in their decision-making process for gaining maximum benefits out of the preferential free trade policies (diagonal cumulation). This will contribute to the independency in decision-making process and in taking such decisions that would prove best for country’s foreign trade activities.
At the Workshop it was agreed that CEFTA will cooperate with Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) in order to implement the SAP+ cumulation as soon as possible. The process will be strongly supported by the Republic of Slovenia and Centre for European Perspective (CEP).
The project is a follow-up to the 2008 Istanbul seminar on movement of goods in the area of the EU, EFTA, Turkey and CEFTA. The seminar showed there is a need to improve the conditions for regional trade cooperation in the Western Balkans as well as for trade between Western Balkan countries and other European countries (EU, EFTA, Turkey).