Vedrana Ilic: Serbia expects $ 1.5 billion in savings from “Open Balkans” in the coming period

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management

Assistant Minister for International Cooperation and EU Integration Vedrana Ilic said that Serbia expects $ 1.5 billion in savings from the “Open Balkans” and the creation of a regional economic market in the coming period, and expressed expectation that other countries will join this regional initiative.

Participating in the central panel of the “Jahorina Economic Forum” dedicated to the “Open Balkans”, Ilic pointed out that the goal of that initiative is to create a regional economic space, as well as that the “Open Balkans” is intended for citizens and the economy.

Ilic reminded that the “Open Balkans” initiative started 30 months ago and that Serbia, Northern Macedonia and Albania have joined it so far.

This regional initiative shortens waiting at the borders, especially trucks, speeds up the movement of residents of three countries who cross the border only with an ID card, and facilitates the movement of labor. Ilic emphasized.

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Srpska, Boris Pašalić, said that this is an initiative that provides a lot of benefits and great opportunities to the countries that join it. He stated that a larger market, in this case 18 to 20 million people, opens up greater opportunities.

The discussion on the “Open Balkans” estimates that this initiative could generate gross domestic product growth, and that “green corridors” for crossing borders would enable savings of 800 million euros.

It was pointed out that carriers lose 26 million hours a year due to waiting at border crossings in the region, which significantly increases the cost of transport.

The two-day “Jahorina Economic Forum 2022” is being held in Jahorina under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Srpska Zeljka Cvijanovic and with the help of the Government of Srpska and the Council of Ministers, and gathered more than 400 participants from a dozen European countries.

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management


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