Regional economic integration among Serbia’s priorities

Regional economic integration among Serbia’s priorities

Serbian Minister of Internal and Foreign Trade and Chair of Serbian Trade Facilitation Body, Tomislav Momirović said that regional economic integration is among the most important goals of the Government of Serbia, and the trade facilitation process is one of the most important reforms currently being implemented in Serbia.

At the opening of the Regional Conference on Improving the Capacity of National Coordinating Bodies for Trade Facilitation, which is organized in Belgrade by the World Bank (WB), USAID, and the Government of Switzerland, he reminded that the CEFTA Parties, after the European Union (EU), are Serbia’s most important foreign trade partners.

“The total trade of Serbia with CEFTA last year amounted to seven billion euros, of which exports from Serbia amounted to nearly five billion euros,” Momirović said, adding that trade facilitation is therefore important for further economic integration of the country.

He added that the Government of Serbia is actively implementing all the measures from the Action Plan establishing the Common Regional Market and also activities arising from the Open Balkan initiative, because, as he emphasized, this is the key to improving economic and political relations.

“The Open Balkan is the biggest economic issue that we are jointly creating. We have to abolish all unnecessary border procedures, because that’s the only way we can generate more investments, speed up and increase the circulation of people and goods, and raise the standard of all citizens in the region,” said Momirović.

He also reminded that the National Coordinating Body for Trade Facilitation of Serbia was established six years ago, pointing out that it was recognized as an example of good practice for public-private dialogue in the trade facilitation sector.

As the president of that body, Momirović emphasized that additional support is provided to all institutions involved in the process of ensuring the most favorable business conditions, both for exporters and importers.

He noted that according to the 4th UN Global Review on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation, Serbia has made significant progress in that area.

“The assessment of the fulfillment of trade facilitation measures for our country is more than 72 percent, which is a continuation of the positive trend from previous years. In addition, the progress was recognized by the WB through the mechanism established to monitor the trade facilitation agreement,” said the Minister of Trade of Serbia.

As part of the panels organized at the conference, representatives of the NTFB Secretariat and the Ministry of Internal and External Trade, Tatjana Dinkić and Aleksandar Simić, participated in the panels and highlighted the most important results, as well as challenges in the work. The National Coordinating Body for Trade Facilitation of Serbia was recognized at the conference as a good example, as it has a clear structure, action plans, participation of the business community and transparency in its work, primarily through the Body’s website.