“I am truly honored and delighted to stand before you in this session as the President of the Managing Board of WB6 CIF, the Western Balkans 6 – Chamber Investments Forum, and as the President of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce. I am very privileged to participate in the 20th Vienna Economic Forum, an event that has long been dedicated to promoting regional economic cooperation.
Before we delve into the specifics of the session, I want to provide a brief overview of the Western Balkans 6. This region, home to 17 million people, occupies a strategic position as a vital transit area and market for the European Union’s 27 member states. Simultaneously, the European Union is the Western Balkans’ largest trading partner and investor. The synergy between the Western Balkans and the EU is undeniable and has yielded remarkable outcomes.
WB6 CIF, representing the interests of 17 million citizens across the Western Balkans, has collectively generated a GDP of EUR 129.3 billion. This economic strength is driven by 375,000 businesses employing nearly 7 million individuals. Furthermore, the region has attracted EUR 8.8 billion in foreign direct investment, underscoring the confidence that international investors have in our potential.
One of the most remarkable figures to highlight is that in 2022, 67.9% of the total Western Balkans’ exports of goods were directed to the EU27. This indicates thedepth of economic ties and cooperation that have been nurtured between the Western Balkans and the European Union.
The Vienna Economic Forum, as established in 2004, has long held the noble goal of promoting regional economic cooperation. As a representative of WB6 CIF, I can proudly affirm that we share this goal. Our organization serves as a powerful catalyst for forging partnerships, fostering economic growth, and building bridges between our region and Western European countries.
Our private sector and entrepreneurs, who are focused on cooperation with Western Europe, have played a pivotal role in enhancing economic ties and driving growth in the Western Balkans. Through WB6 CIF, we are committed to fostering a climate of cooperation, innovation, and investment that benefits both our region and our European partners.”