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CEI: Industry competitiveness should be raised

05. November 2011. | 10:15 11:38

Source: Emg.rs, Tanjug

A lot of attention was paid to EU integration and better cooperation and competitiveness of the industry from the area of the Central European Initiative (CEI) during the time of economic crisis, according to the conclusions from the Friday summit of the CEI in Belgrade, entitled Fresh Thinking for Competitive Economy in CEI.

A lot of attention was paid to EU integration and better cooperation and competitiveness of the industry from the area of the Central European Initiative (CEI) during the time of economic crisis, according to the conclusions from the Friday summit of the CEI in Belgrade, entitled Fresh Thinking for Competitive Economy in CEI.

The CEI has become an important factor in promoting economic and social integration, which brings closeness, stability and competitiveness in the region and serves as an important source of information and assistance for the countries that are not EU members.

The conclusions further state that the CEI relies on its uniqueness and additional value that come from a union of institutional structures and financial instruments, which enables the CEI to strengthen its role as a key player in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, as well as Europe's macro regions.

The CEI can prepare the field for investments and bank loans, provide non-refundable assistance to improve infrastructure and strengthen institutions related to transport, energy, environment, agriculture and small and medium companies, and all that thanks to connections with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, through a CEI fund financed completely by Italy, the document says.

The conclusions also state that the knowledge exchange programme is a unique instrument for passing on experience in EU integration from current EU members and those who have not become that yet.

The need to preserve and improve CEI members' participation in arrangements by the secretariat that are related to EU funded projects is particularly emphasized.

The CEI has strengthened its cooperation with other international initiatives and it is expected to soon be granted observer status in the UN General Assembly.

Since a lot still needs to be done regarding small businesses, environment protection, science and technology, the summit reaffirmed the CEI's orientation towards expanding cooperation within the organization so member countries would boost global energy efficiency, environmental sustainability and knowledge based economy, as proposed by the 2020 strategy, the conclusions read.

Ukraine will take over the CEI presidency after Serbia.

CEI countries to improve economic cooperation

Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said that the annual Summit of the Central European Initiative (CEI) that was held yesterday in Belgrade was a good opportunity to consider the most important aspects of regional cooperation and that representatives of member states exchange views on possibilities for strengthening cooperation and competitiveness of their economies.

Cvetkovic said at a joint press conference held after the summit that it is a great honour for our country to chair the CEI as one of the most important and oldest regional initiatives.

He noted that many projects were implemented, in particular in the fields of economy, transport, energy, science and technology, education, agriculture and environmental protection.

The collaboration with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was very important in the implementation of these projects, Cvetkovic said and recalled that the Initiative for promotion of the development of civil society was launched this year.

The CEI will continue to promote the strengthening of ties with the EU, as well as with other regional initiatives and institutions.

The Prime Minister announced that the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia will hold a business forum today at which opportunities for further improvement of economic cooperation of CEI member states will be examined.

Representatives of the Serbian and Ukrainian authorities have expressed their desire to reach as soon as possible a mutually acceptable solution regarding Serbia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Cvetkovic stated.

Prime Minister of Ukraine, the country that takes over the CEI chairmanship, Mykola Azarov confirmed that the two sides agreed to continue discussions on this matter during the official visit of Serbian President Boris Tadic to Kiev on 10 November.

In his opinion, activating contacts of the CEI and the EU will contribute to more active work and economic performance, as well as the promotion of realisation of objectives of the countries that are not EU members.

Prime Minister of Montenegro Igor Luksic said that today's meeting fulfilled its mission.

During the meeting, views were exchanged on everything that will be the subject of interest and attention of our countries, especially economic policy that we need to consider in order to cope with the consequences of the crisis that will definitely be prolonged, he said.

Luksic said that the CEI member states have enormous economic potential and expressed his confidence that this region is yet to record the highest economic growth in the near future.

Romanian PM: CEI should direct its activities and use synergy

The Central European Initiative (CEI) should direct their activities and make use of the synergy with the political and economic dynamics in Europe, Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc stated in Belgrade on Friday.

In his presentation during the annual CEI summit, Boc stated that CEI and the EU hold enormous potential for cooperation, which should be based on CEI capacities for lending an additional value to the Union's current programmes.

The region needs a platform for designing economic projects which would be complementary with the activities conducted by the EU, Boc said. Addressing the summit participants, the Romanian high official said that the Danube Strategy could serve as a good example and that the Danube countries should work together on projects in the areas of transport, environment protection, economy and culture.

The Danube Strategy represents an important chance for faster regional development and support to EU hopefuls on their integration path, Boc said.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov noted that the role of association of countries in initiatives such as CEI should serve as a stimulus for increasing the competitiveness of the countries' economies.

Recalling that nine CEI countries have already become EU members, while many others are in the integration process, Azarov noted that joining the initiative could serve as an encouragement for the countries' faster progress on their EU paths.

Noting that Ukraine would take over CEI presidency, Azarov underscored that the country will get a unique chance to voice the opinions of EU hopefuls in this period.


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