Within the activities to mark the 97th anniversary of the chamber work in Macedonia, in the Economic Chamber of Macedonia a working meeting took place of the management of the Chamber Investment Forum (CIF), established within the Berlin Process by the six chambers of commerce of the Western Balkan region (Economic Chamber of Macedonia, the Union of Chambers of Commerce of Albania, Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and Chamber of Commerce of Kosovo) and representatives of business community.
Mr Marko Čadež, president of the Chamber Investment Forum and president of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and Mr Safet Gërxhaliu, secretary general of the Chamber Investment Forum and former president of the Chamber of Commerce of Kosovo presented to the representatives of the business community the current activities of CIF that are directed towards the promotion of the business climate and competitiveness of the economies of the region with the objective to provide a dynamic regional investment area. They stated that the commitment of CIF is to make the Balkans a completely functional regional economic area that will be more competitive at the global investment map and that would enable more dynamic economic growth of the countries of the region, as well as its stabilization. Therefore, the basic objective of CIF is to connect the business communities of the 6 countries, mutually, but also with companies from other parts of the world.
Currently, the Chamber Investment Forum is implementing, or is in the stage of starting several projects with the financial support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the German International Cooperation Association (GIZ), German Investment Bank- KFW, the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the European Committee via the IPA II Funds.
The Regional investment platform (www.investinsee.com), was also presented to the businessmen where they can get all the necessary information related to the conditions and benefits for investing, as well as to obtain answers to the concrete questions of the business community interested in investing in the Western Balkan countries, including database for the macroeconomic indicators, legal framework, market, financial and other stimulations, potential partners and suppliers, as well as concrete projects in which it can invest. The Platform, among other things, contains legal and fiscal database, including specific information that can be of the interest of the investors that want to start activities in some of the Western Balkan countries, including among other things the issues about registering a company, the capital market, public procurements, employment, fiscal and customs regime, visa regime and providing work permits, settlement of disputes and the legal framework relating to the protection of investments.
In the course of the discussion the representatives of the business community pointed out certain problems the Macedonian companies face, firstly in the field of lack of qualified workforce with lower qualifications ready to take employment and the necessity of introducing dual education, and secondly in the access of the companies to finance. It was discussed about the need of reducing the non-tariff barriers and mutual acknowledgment of the documentation in the countries of the region, with the objective to enable faster and uninterrupted flow of goods in the region.
Tatjana Shterjova, PhD