➢ News (15.09.2023, во 15:35:00)
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Under the Private Sector Regional Integration Support Activity (PSRISA), implemented in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia, in collaboration with the WB6 Chamber Investment Forum (CIF), presented the opportunities arising from the Western Balkans Common Regional Market, aiming to deepen regional business cooperation and ease trade barriers with the goal of internationalizing the Macedonian business sector.

Dr. Tatjana Shterjova-Dushkovska, Secretary General of the WB6 CIF, presented the current and future activities regarding the Common Regional Market (CRM) to the attendees. The goal of the CRM is to enhance the competitiveness of companies from the Western Balkans on the European and global markets, integrate the market composed of 18 million people, improve the integration of the Western Balkans' economy into European value chains, increase the GDP growth potential by 6.7%, and position the region as a destination for foreign investments, reducing the distance to EU markets (production facilities and supply chains).

To companies, the Common Regional Market offers significant benefits, particularly in terms of full recognition of export documents, professional qualifications, and licenses across the entire region. This includes a 70% reduction in waiting times at border crossings, the opening of Green Lanes and Corridors in the region and the EU, reduced payment costs within the region, a regional e-commerce market, elimination of work permit requirements for intra-company transfers and service providers, a region without roaming costs, reduced roaming costs between the Western Balkans and the EU, a regional scheme to support startups and early-stage innovations financed by the public and private sectors, mutual recognition of electronic signatures, and other forms of trust-based e-identification based on valid EU regulations, as emphasized by Dr. Shterjova-Dushkovska.

She highlighted that the European Commission is currently preparing a new growth plan for the Western Balkans, which will be presented in October 2023. This plan is based on four key pillars: 1) bringing the Western Balkans closer to the EU's single market, 2) deepening regional economic integration, 3) accelerating fundamental reforms, and 4) increasing pre-accession funds for the Western Balkans.

The Economic Chamber of North Macedonia and WB6 CIF are actively involved in the process by providing proposals to expedite the integration of companies from the region into the EU single market.

During the event, Marko Mandić, a trade expert from the CEFTA Secretariat, presented the overall work and the importance of the CEFTA Secretariat in the process of bringing the region closer to the EU. CEFTA supports and facilitates the Western Balkans' processes, as demonstrated by the example of the region's accession to the green corridors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With regard to the four freedoms of the Common Regional Market: reducing trade barriers, the free movement of goods, services, capital, and people, CEFTA is additionally working on the implementation of Additional Protocol 7 to CEFTA for establishing a more efficient dispute settlement mechanism (DSM).











The dispute settlement mechanism includes consultations or negotiations, mediation, and arbitration to facilitate and expedite dispute resolution between the contending parties. The Additional Protocol 7 regulates procedures for mediation, consultation rules, dispute resolution procedures, compliance review procedures, and the Code of Conduct for members of the arbitral panel, in addition to general provisions regarding deadlines, costs, and logistics.

At the event, Biljana Peeva-Gjurikj, PSRISA project manager, presented the activities currently being implemented, as well as the activities planned for the next year within the project. She encouraged export-oriented companies to address any questions and issues related to exports to the Exporters' Club, which will then be delivered and discussed at the National Export Council, representing the main mechanism for public-private dialogue on matters related to export promotion and support.

Additionally, companies were informed about the four active calls for support to export-oriented companies in building their export capacities, which have already been published on the Chamber's website at:






Chamber Informational department