FREE TRADE AGREEMENT ON SOUTH EASTERN BALKANS
Albania, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia
Guidelines Kosovo – Albania => http://bit.ly/2VaYUDX
Albania marked 13 years of CEFTA training. The achievements in the trade of CEFTA membership, future challenges in implementing the visit, steps to be taken to facilitate trade and transport, expectations of regional scope, etc. This agreement helps to deliver public-private dialogue, the role of private sector service delivery in the economic sector, tourism and the role of the sector service as a mechanism to foster this company, etc. .
CEFTA is just one opportunity that builds on the principles of the World Trade Organization and the European Union. Albania, as a seller of CEFTA, strictly implements the protocol for facilitation of trade with a member country of CEFTA, starting from: transparency in laws, rules and procedures of trade, electronic exchange of documents that can show goods, automatic automatic document and laboratory tests; unification of schedules at border points etc;
Albania’s trade exchanges with Western Balkan countries have increased 4.9 times in recent years, but stressed that fewer barriers and more facilities will contribute to increased trade in CEFTA. She further spoke about the achievements of the Albanian economy in these years, emphasizing in particular the results of the reforms in the last three years in support of sustainable economic development. CEFTA has a very important role to play in how we view the Balkans as interconnected, how we view economic growth, and how businesses should work together in this regional economic space. Benefits from CEFTA in the region Regional economic cooperation through CEFTA brought benefits to all parties: (i) CEFTA is the best way to mobilize economic means to achieve sustainable political and economic stabilization of all countries in the region, (ii) (ii) CEFTA is a powerful economic tool for the economic recovery of the participating countries. Regional trade has proven to be more resilient to the economic crisis than trade with the EU. The decline in regional trade flows was lower, the recovery came faster. Furthermore, only a market that functions as CEFTA can increase the region’s competitive advantages as a whole to attract FDI, (iii) (iii) CEFTA represents an excellent “training area” for successful future participation in the EU market.
Trade exchanges in CEFTA and the impact in Albania Regional integration developments over the years have been accompanied by significant results in terms of trade facilitation, initiated by the removal of tariff barriers for industrial and subsequently agricultural products. Egger and Nilsson’s 13-year data show, in general, that the Western Balkans region is characterized by relatively high levels of trade openness. The performance of the index of trade openness in recent years has been mainly upward.
The trend was broken in 2008 due to the economic financial crisis. However, the index of trade openness for some of the countries, including Albania, is below the regional average, clearly demonstrating the need for continued reforms in order to increase trade openness with the world. This development results from two important processes. • First, European integration through the Stabilization and Association Agreements provided a framework for trade liberalization that enabled the free movement of goods and services. • This process also created the framework for regional trade cooperation, through CEFTA, with the aim of implementing a free trade area between transition countries, mainly part of the PB.
In recent years, the main trading partner of CEFTA has been the European Union. In 2013, CEFTA realized 64% of exports and 33% of imports with the EU. In 2015, about 70% of exports were made with EU countries, while other important partners in imports are Russia (8%) and China (10%). Concerning exports, CEFTA countries are dependent on European markets, an element that fosters further efforts towards integration with the European Union.
CEFTA exports depend to a large degree on EU aggregate demand. A slight change in the level of GDP of this area results in a large change in CEFTA exports The second important process of transition countries relates to the opening up of capital flows and foreign investment, which helped to create new trading lines for particular industries, and further to increase trade volume in the region. In the case of Albania, annual FDI inflows have increased significantly since 2008, averaging about US $ 1 billion per year for the period 2008 – 2015. The current period, in particular, has a higher FDI inflow.
The average quarterly FDI inflows for the period T1 – 2010 – T3 – 2013 were EUR 187 million, while the quarterly average of FDI inflows for the period T4 – 2013 – T4 – 2015 was EUR 228 million. For 2015 FDI revenues increased by € 12 million compared to 2014. At the end of 2015, 1038 enterprises with 100% foreign capital were registered.
Albania, as a member of CEFTA, strictly implements the protocol on facilitation of trade with CEFTA member states starting from: transparency with laws, rules and procedures of trade, electronic exchange of documents accompanying goods, automatic recognition of laboratory documents and tests; unification of schedules at border points etc; Albania’s trade exchanges with the Western Balkan countries have increased by about 4.9 times over the last 10 years; In 2015, trade exchange with the region accounted for 9.6% of the country’s trade exchange, 2.4 times higher than in 2006. Exports to CEFTA have increased 6 times in 10 years; while imports have increased 5.7 times in 10 years.
Exports to CEFTA have become twice as competitive. Thus: In CEFTA – for 1000 ALL Import 840 ALL Export Worldwide – for 1000 ALL Import 470 ALL Export In the EU ¬- for 1000 ALL Import 544ALL Export Albania’s main partner in exports to the region is Kosovo, with a share of total exports to the region of 60.5% in 2015, up from 50.2% in 2006. If we take a look at intra-CEFTA trade, there is a need for broader integration. In 2015, only 17% of exports and 10% of imports are carried out between CEFTA countries themselves. Consequently, fewer barriers and more facilities will contribute to increased trade in CEFTA.
What is intended “The European Commission will continue to support the process of regional economic integration, both in terms of policy and direct financial support,” Director-General for the Western Balkans at the Directorate-General for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, told Podgorica meeting on December 9, 2016. But what should Western Balkan countries do to enable the realization of the ambition for a Regional Economic Area (MAP REA)? To achieve this, first of all, the priority must be given to the prompt implementation of the CEFTA agreement on trade facilitation; second, it is important to conclude as soon as possible – possibly before the 2017 Summit in Italy – CEFTA negotiations on trade liberalization in services.
Thirdly, it is important for CEFTA parties to agree on further measures that may include from the EU perspective, harmonization of national authorized economic operators, mutual recognition of professional qualifications and diplomas for selected professions, a comprehensive network of cross-border agreements, to ensure implementation of the 2016-2018 ERP agenda and support for increased B2B exchanges.
The regional commitments and these reforms undertaken aim precisely at orienting a new economic model that relies on domestic production and real employment. Through increased productivity and innovation, also supported by the potential of digital commerce, manufacturing structures benefit from the expansion of the value chain aiming at increasing exports. The dynamics created in these engagements have strongly contributed to improving cooperation and good neighborliness in the region.
The focus of this process clearly lies on further fostering connectivity in terms of transport, energy and relationships between people. The so-called “soft measures” play an important role in supporting the interconnection in energy and transport, the implementation of which is very important for integrated energy and transport networks. In the wake of these commitments, the support of the European Commission, the South East European Transport Observatory and the Energy Secretariat has been and will continue to be for the Western Balkan countries. .
That is why CEFTA has a very important role to play in how we view the Balkans as interconnected, in how we view economic growth and how we think businesses need to work together in this regional economic space.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tirana has successfully implemented in 2012-2017 the project for the implementation of CEFTA with the Regional Chambers of Commerce, financed by DIHK (Union of German Chambers of Commerce, and the German Ministry of Finance). informed, trained regional businesses about what they benefit from this agreement. We continue to train our members as well as businesses on this important issue.
Attached you will also find an Albanian Language Guide for the uniform implementation of full cumulation of goods and duties draw back among CEFTA parties, carried out by experts contracted by GIZ, Germany, to assist Albanian importers and exporters.