Tuesday, 17 July 2018 | News today: 20

Private sector – the driving force behind region’s growth and development


Support to and encouragement for the entire business community in the region to invest, to expand and to create networks was extended Tuesday by Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev speaking at a closing news conference of the two-day Summit 100 taking place in Skopje.

“The region’s growth and development in the future will be produced through the private sector. We have encouraged the private sector to grow. We’ve encouraged all the participating businessmen, over 150, to invest more in the region, to open new jobs, to increase the GDP of the region, which has to be over 5 per cent if we want to join the EU,” PM Zaev told the press conference alongside the premiers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro – Edi Rama, Denis Zvizdic and Dusko Markovic respectively.

In the past two days, he added, attempts have been made to consolidate, organize joint promotions while discussing the issues the business community is facing on daily basis.

“The Balkans can no longer be a powder keg. The Balkan countries and the whole of Southeastern Europe are the driving force of development. We need to work side by side with the EU and these initiatives are quite useful for the common good of the citizens and the business community,” said Zaev.

According to him, it would be a positive thing if these forums were to be extended with new participants, including Bulgaria and Greece.

Answering a journalist question, PM Zaev pledged to make efforts to facilitate transport communication – a requirement of the business community – in order to reduce border delays allowing better movement of people and goods.

Denis Zvizdic, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said the summit focused on issues on better use of natural resources of the countries in the region, increase in both domestic and foreign investments in a bid to solve the most important macroeconomic problem, namely job creation, especially for young people.

“Economic cooperation and regional connectivity should remain a priority of all national governments in the Western Balkans. We are aware of our responsibility. We should aim at integrating the countries in the region themselves, and as such, the integrated region will strive towards European integration. It’s the duty of our governments,” noted Zvizdic.

Montenegro’s Premier Dusko Markovic said it was concluded at the summit to resume the practice of direct talks and intensive meetings so as to boost confidence in each other.

“It is intended to meet our goal of improving the living standards of our citizens,” he stated adding that strong support had been extended to foreign investors because ‘without their money, experience and knowledge there is no growth of our economy.’

Albanian PM Edi Rama, when asked what he had told the leaders of the Albanian political parties in Macedonia with respect to the October 29 runoff, said the meeting ‘had nothing to do with the local elections.’

“The meeting had nothing to do with the elections. Elections were held here, it’s the job of the parties in Macedonia. Albania and myself have nothing to do with them. Elections are organized in Macedonia, our neighbor and friend,” stressed Rama.

The Summit 100 brought together over 150 business leaders from Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, BiH, Albania, Serbia and Kosovo to discuss connectivity between the countries in the region in all spheres. A memorandum of mutual understanding and cooperation between was signed by the Regional platform Summit100 and the Western Balkans Chambers Investment Forum (WB6 CIF).