In Brief

Western Balkans Launches Regional Investment Platform

“Without a doubt there are still politically difficult issues and we shouldn’t hide from investors. We should be frank, open and honest about trying to resolve them, and that we understand why [the] region’s stability and predictability is important,” Ana Brnabić, prime minister of Serbia, said at the Western Balkans Investment Summit, organised in London by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

“There is absolutely no significant, long-term and dynamic growth unless there is regional stability and perception of the region as being stable and going forward together,” she added.

The online Regional Investment Platform, developed by the regional chamber of commerce — the Chamber Investment Forum and launched at the Investment Summit on February 26, is another example of joint initiatives in the Western Balkans, involving Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia.

Marko Čadež (photo: Andy Lane/EBRD)

“This platform has the potential to become an indispensable tool for foreign investors and the region’s business community,” said EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti. “The regional chamber itself is an excellent project. I should also stress that the original initiative for it came from the leaders of the chambers of commerce of Kosovo and Serbia, a strong symbol of stability in the region,” he added.

“This platform will be another useful tool for the chambers of commerce. It will help us create quality initiatives for eliminating business barriers and create a harmonisation of regulations, procedures and practice for the more efficient business operations of companies,” Marko Čadež, chairman of the Chamber Investment Forum and the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia.

Regional economic integration and cooperation in the Western Balkans has become one of the key tools for underpinning political cooperation in the region.