Montenegro Chamber of Commerce Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Albania Union of Hellenic Chambers of Commerce The Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia & Herzegovina Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Economic Chamber of Macedonia Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry Serbian Chamber of Commerce Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Maritime Commerce and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania
Association of Balkan Chambers
The Association of Balkan Chambers is a non-political and non-governmental organization aiming at assisting the business activities on the Balkans.
Its members are the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Albania, Bosnia&Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey. Membership is open to all Balkan Chambers who accept its statute.

The main priorities of ABC are: development of co-operation among the business communities in the Balkan region, as well as with third parties; encouragement and support of activities aimed to structural changes in the economies of Balkan countries with the view of the accession to EU; initiation and implementation of global interest projects for the Balkan.




ABC-DIHK project - a new meeting of national coordinators (26-29 September)

Since 2000 , the Association of Balkan Chambers (ABC) and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce (DIHK) are developing a partnership project. The main goal is the development of interregional cooperation and development of the economic relations between the ABC and EU countries, and especially Germany.

The national coordinators of this project, representing the CCIs from Bulgaria, Bosnia & Hertegovina, FYR of Mcedonia, Serbia & Montenegro, Greece and Romania had a meeting in Brasov, Romania. The participants evaluated with this occasion the activities and results obtaind in the first half of the year and made proposals for the next year in accordance with the specific needs of the chambers and their members.


Training program for marketing & IT experts in Berlin (11 - 14 Oct. 2005)

A new training for IT&Marketing experts of the CCI from Balkans took place in Berlin, between 11 - 14 Oct. 2005. The event was hosted by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce (DIHK).

The main topics of the training:

- What has to be fulfilled in the background in order to get a reliable economic forecast - economic survey questionnaire

- How to get an opinion picture on the actual political questions from the enterprises - enterprise barometer

- DIHK online services: Online Academy, German foreign economic portal, etc.

In the last day of the meeting the ABC IT & Marketing Working Group discussed the actions for the next period aimed at increasing the visibility of portal and improving its content.



Agriculture trade agreement with Romania

Further trade liberalisation for Romanian agricultural products is expected following the July endorsement by EU ministers of modifications to the EU-Romania Europe Agreement. The Council backed improvement of trade arrangements for processed agricultural products, to improve economic convergence in preparation for Romania's accession to the EU. The concessions under the new regime include complete liberalisation of trade for some processed agricultural products, and reduction of duties or tariff quotas.


BULPRO participates in the second phase of World Bank Project: “Trade and Transport Facilitation in South East Europe

Established as a Council with BCCI in September 1990, today BULPRO acts as main coordinating body between the national decision-making bodies, private sector organizations and their members and international organizations, related to trade and transport facilitation, such as SECI in terms of exchange of ideas, initiatives and projects.

In the period 2001 – 2004 BULPRO with BCCI took an active part in the first part of the World Bank Project “Trade and Transport Facilitation in South East Europe” (TTFSE I). The TTFSE Project fosters trade by promoting more efficient and less costly trade flows across the countries in Southeast Europe. The program seeks to reduce non-tariff costs to trade and transport, reduce smuggling and corruption at border crossings, strengthen and modernize the customs administrations and other border control agencies. At this moment BULPRO and BCCI are preparing to participate in the second part of TTFSE Project. The results of an inquiry to BCCI members helped BULPRO to formulate the following training sessions themes:

  • Public Private Partnership
  • Customs Issues, Harmonized System
  • WTO Negotiations on Facilitation
  • Logistics
  • Supply Chain Management. Application of EAN/UCC standards.
  • Bulgarian Foreign Trade and Customs Regimes
  • Trading with EU Countries. Requirements, Legal Framework.
  • Maritime Transport and Port Transport
  • Air Transport and Airport Operations
  • Competition Law and Policy and Consumer Protection
  • Contemporary Bank Methods in Trade Facilitation
  • Certificates for Digital Signatures – the Role of Chambers
  • The advantages of ATA Carnet for temporary import of goods
  • Presentation of trade bilateral agreements between Bulgaria and another countries: Bulgaria – EU, Bulgaria – EFTA, Bulgaria neighboring countries, etc.
  • Tax Legislation
  • Export Insurance
  • UN/CEFACT Recommendations on trade facilitation and their implementation in SECI countries

For more information:

BULPRO, Tel.: +359 2 987 74 79, fax: +359 2 987 32 09, e-mail:


News about implementation of FTAs in SEE 

The signed FTEs in SEE are in implementation. The most important problems at the moment are related additional agreements on sanitar and firosanirar control and on standardisation, which still have not been signed between Serbia and the other countries of the region. Also, the problem of retantion of the trucks on border sides is also present.

Between Serbia and Macedonia trade is free now, without any limitation.

In cooperation with Bulgaria there are still obstracles on the borders with retention of the trucks on both sides.

With BIH the problem in implementation of FTA is mainly related to agriculture and food processing sector. In the sector BIH side makes unilateral decisions which suspend zero tariff rate  for particular products from SCG. The  result is depreciation of the effects in the implementation  of FTA.

FTA with Albania is successfully implemented without problems.

It is notifying that the volume of trade has risen  in the region since FTAs are in implementation.

In the seccond part of November Biznis Forum IV, i.e. Interenational conference on trade liberalisation and facilitation in SEE will be held. Beside traditional themes (related to implementation of the agreements) the new multilateral free trade agreement will be annaounced. The agreement will replace existing matrix of bilateral free trade agreements. 

Source: Serbian CCI


Meeting of the EU Club with the BCCI with the British Ambassador on the occasion of the assuming of the EU presidency by the UK 

On 7th July 2005, EIC-Sofia with the BCCI organised a meeting of the EU Club with H.Exc. Mr. Jeremy Hill on the occasion of the assuming the presidency of the European Union on 1st July 2005 for six months by the United Kingdom. It is the sixth British presidency of the EU and it marks the most crucial stage of the process of EU enlargement. Mr. Hill declared that the UK will strongly support Bulgaria in its efforts to become a full member state in 2007. He outlined in brief the main priorities of the Programme of the British presidency – increase of the global role of the EU in international relations, wider opening of the Union to Africa, Russia and Ukraine, closer and constructive collaboration with the USA, fighting terrorism, approval and enforcement of the Directive of Services, because two third of the GDP of the EU comes from service sector, enhancing the discussions on REACH, reform of the CAP and reforming and strengthening of the EU.

The Head of the Delegation of the EC to Bulgaria, H.Exc. Mr. Dimitris Kourkoulas, outlined the prospects of Bulgaria to join the EU in 2007 and focused on the efforts the country should make so that to meet the EU requirements and conform with the recommendations of the Commission. He paid special attention to the framework of the financial support the EU is providing to Bulgaria for the successful accession of the country in 2007.

The discussions focused on the opportunities and challenges for the Bulgarian SMEs of the accession and on the impact on the local business in case there is a delay of the full membership.

Participants in the meeting were representatives of the business and of the sectoral organizations, of business support NGOs and networks, diplomats of the EU member states and candidate countries, politicians and journalists – EU Club members.


EU Regional and Cohesion Policy: the Balkans

 The BCCI with the financial support of the Liaison Office of the DIHK/ABC Partnership Project prepared and published the guide “EU Regional and Cohesion Policy: the Balkans”. The guide “EU Regional policy on the Balkans” is trying to contribute to the awareness raising of the Balkan SMEs of the EU Regional policy, of the Structural Funds and of the Cohesion Fund as main instruments for the reduction of disparities in the development of the regions.

Very soon the Balkans will become an integral part of the United Europe. They will contribute to its multicultural diversity and integrity. The cohesion of the region to European Union is of paramount importance for the sustainable development of the EU as a whole – and hence for the successful implementation of the Lisbon Strategy and its main objectives – to make the European economy the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. This strategic goal of economic, social and environmental renewal, delivering sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs, greater social cohesion and reduced environmental pressures is essential to the future of Europe.

The gradual and successful integration of the Balkans into the European Union can only be achieved through the sustainable economic development and welfare of all the countries in the region. The Chambers of Commerce in the Balkan countries play an important role in this process. The overall objective of the Partnership Project DIHK/ABC is to support the member chambers of the Association of the Balkan Chambers /ABC/ in their efforts to provide assistance to SMEs for their integration in the EU internal market and to contribute to the creation of a coherent economic space in South-East Europe.




The new project of Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

Creating a Regional Coalition of Women Business Associations

After successfully implementing a project dedicated to the creation and sustainability of the Coalition of Women Business Associations in Romania, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), with funding from National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is expanding the project from national to regional level.

The vision of the project is to create a Balkan region in which women’s roles and contributions to the economy and politics are recognized, where women are treated as equal partners who work to solve policy barriers and create stability in the business and social environments.

The goals of this new project are: to create a network of women’s business groups in the region that can actively promote a legislative agenda aiming to improve both the status of women entrepreneurs and the overall business environment; to empower women business leaders to make their voice heard and assert their positions in a democratic manner.

The targeted countries are: Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Turkey and Hungary (as EU mentor partner).



Romania's GDP advances 4.9 percent in S1

Romania's GDP estimated for the first semester of 2005 was 110.236 billion lei, up 4.9 percent in real terms as against S1 of 2004, the National Statistics Institute informs. The growth was mainly determined by the increase in volume of activity, and consequently in gross added value of services (6.9 percent), constructions (3.9 percent) and industry (3.6 percent). Final consumption increased 11.2 percent in S1 of 2005 compared to the similar period of 2004, while the gross fixed capital formation advanced 7.6 percent.

The data show that in S1 the gross index of industrial production moved up 1.3 percent, while the gross index of the processing industry reached 102.2 percent. The gross index of industrial production in July 2005 dropped 7.7 percent compared to July 2004.

Labor productivity in industry increased 3.3 percent over the analyzed period.

(1 euro = 3.5 lei)

Source: Romanian National News Agency ROMPRES


Taiwan opened a Trade Center in Sofia


A Trade center of Taiwan /ROC/ was opened in Sofia at the beginning of September 2005. It will collaborate

with the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other commercial organizations for the

development of the economic relations between Taiwan and Bulgaria. Since this is the only Trade center of

Taiwan /ROC/ on the Balkans at the moment, it will work closely with all ABC countries.


The first event, organized by the new trade center is a forthcoming trade delegation from Taiwan and respective business meetings

with Bulgarian companies. The event will take place on September 26 - 27, 2005 in Plovdiv and Sofia. The Delegation will visit also

Romania, Hungary and Slovakia during the period September 24 – October 9.


For contacts:

Taiwan Trade Center - Sofia

Business park Sofia, building 2, 5th floor

Sofia 1766, Bulgaria

Tel.: +359-2-97697 36

Fax: +359-2-9769734


Source: Bulgarian CCI


New aviation agreements with Western Balkans

The European Commission has approved aviation agreements with Serbia and Montenegro, Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Once approved by EU ministers, the agreements will bring existing bilateral air services agreements into line with EU law, by removing any discriminatory clauses – such as preventing, say, a French airline flying to a non-EU country from Germany. The decision is intended to strengthen aviation relations with the Western Balkans. For Croatia, the Commission had already approved similar agreement, which the Council is currently discussing. At the same time, the Commission is negotiating an agreement with the Western Balkan countries on a European Common Aviation Area: this would integrate these countries into Europe's single aviation market on the basis of standard norms and standards.


The initiative of the Global Compact in B&H

Sarajevo, September 19, 2005 – UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina promoted the initiative of the Global Compact in B&H. Global Compact tries to improve social responsibility of companies in order to make the business sector to give its answer to the challenges of globalization. In this manner, private sector, in partnership with civil society and UN, may help in creating sustainable and open global economy.

 Global Compact has two goals in  B&H: to connect Global Compact and its ten goals related to human rights, working standards, sustainability of nature protection and anticorruption, and the other, to initiate partnership of the key players for realizing the Millennium developing plans and faster development of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 Since its creation, 5 years ago, Global Compact has gathered more than 2.000 companies from 80 countries.

The following BH companies joined the Agreement: Energoinvest, UPI Bank, «Borac», Travnik, Mittal Steel, Baja Company, Elvaco AD, Vegafruit, Širbegović, DHL, Tehnogas, Intersistem, Bobar Group, Vispak, Zenička industrija mlijeka, Tropic, Pristor, Altro, Nova Banka, Pivara Tuzla, Vitinka.


Veterinary Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina supports the BH fish producers

 Veterinary Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina got the positive evaluation from the inspection team of FVO Dublin (Institute for Food and Veterinary of EU).

It will enable the State Institute to issue to local companies certificates that will be recognized in 25 EU countries. It also means that this product is adjusted to the most severe demands defined by EU. 

Law on Veterinary in B6H is mostly adjusted to the EU directives.

Tactually, there are 35 fishery ponds and two fish processing capacities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Trout production amounts to 5.000 tons annually. At the beginning of the next year, FAO will support 400.000 US$ project intended for fishery development.


The National Export Strategy will help the Romanian economy become more competitive

6th September 2005 - The National Export Strategy of Romania was launched for public debates within an event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania

The strategy represents a premiere for the last 15 years, being at the same time the result of an excellent cooperation between the Government structures and the business environment. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania, as a founder member of Export Council, took part in several working groups for developing the export strategy of Romania with technical support of ITC Geneva.

For more detail visit:


Romania internationally stands out due to furniture industry

Furniture industry is among the few sectors which allowed Romania to stand out internationally, reads an article carried by "Piata Financiara" magazine.

Romanian furniture has gradually won recognition of western markets. The Russian market and the markets of the Commonwealth of Independent States recognize the reputation of the furniture made in Romania, irrespective whether it is directly imported or imported through western companies.

At European level, Romania with the 2,990 furniture plants which employ 110,000 people, is recognized as a medium-size furniture manufacturer. Tradition, quality and the rich range of products have maintained the trust of foreign consumers. Most domestic products are ecological and in terms of quality they can compare with those made in western countries. Last year, the domestic market was covered by the national production in a ratio of 71 percent.

According to an international ranking from 2002, which encompasses information from 66 states, Romania ranks the 22nd judging upon the value of exports, the 35th upon the production's value and the 40th when it comes to imports.

The managing director of the Romanian Association of Furniture Manufacturers (APMR) Aurel Rizea says that the Romanian products preferred on the foreign markets are hard wood furniture, style-art furniture, modern furniture with rectangular shapes, with special finishing, irrespective whether they are designed for bedrooms, living-rooms, small furniture or upholstered chairs.

Over 1999-2004, exports and the foreign commercial balance doubled and the industrial production and domestic market trebled. Last year, Romania manufactured furniture worth 1,530 million dollars, of which a part worth 1,032 million dollars went to export. In the same period, exports grew by 2.4 times and imports by 3.6 times.

After the first six months of this year furniture production and exports have continued an upward trend and grew by 11 percent and 14.65 percent respectively as against the same period a year ago.

Source: Romanian National News Agency ROMPRES



ITF – The International Tourism Fair of Romania

The 14th edition of the International Tourism Fair of Romania will be held between 20 - 23 October 2005, in the Romexpo Exhibitions Centre.

A reference event on the tourist market, combining the internal and international offer of tourist services, the precedent edition of the International Tourism Fair of Romania has reunited 286 participants from 20 countries on an area of 9.100 sqm.

The survey have confirmed the high degree of efficiency of the fair: 83% of the exhibitors have obtained new information about the market, 83% were satisfied by the number of new business contacts, 81% by the number of visitors to the stand and discussions efficiency, and 91% intended to participate to the following edition as well.


International Investment Forum, under the motto: “The Future of Foreign Direct Investments: Regional vs. National Perspective”, 5TH edition

Bucharest, ROMANIA 27-29 October 2005

 This annual edition of the Forum is organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania with the support: Romanian Agency for Foreign Investments, Integrated Service of Consultancy for Economy in Romania (IBD) / German Organization for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Romanian Council of Foreign Investors, American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham), bilateral chambers of commerce.

The International Investment Forum will include plenary sessions, working roundtables on varied topics, business contacts meetings.

The Forum’s main objectives are:

  • Promotion of foreign investments in Romania

  • Comparative presentation of existing conditions in the Central and South-East European countries as locations for national and regional investments

  • Promotion of Romanian investments projects

  • Support for investments partnerships and businesses development

  • Presentation of development opportunities offered by the real estate market in Romania


Venue of the International Investment Forum: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania , International Convention Centre, 2nd, Octavian Goga Bd., Sector 3, Code 030982 – Bucharest, Romania

Contact: The event’s coordinator is Mrs. Mihaela GOJ – Director, Information and Business Development Division. The contact person is Mr. Mihai IVASCU – Economist, Information and Business Development Division, tel: 319.01.51; fax: 319.01.59; e-mail:

Details and on-line registration:


Balkan Food & Drinks / Balkan PAC, the premium b2b events in Bulgaria, gathering the regional food and packaging industry. 26 - 29 October 2005  
Festivalna Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria 


Scheduled to take place in Festivalna Hall from 26 till 29 October 2005, both trade shows will provide a valuable insight for specific company needs.

Over 80% of the Balkan Food & Drinks / Balkan PAC visitors come to meet clients. 60% are upper management bodies (Owner, General manager, Director); the remaining part is comprised of 30% key professionals (Marketing, Purchasing, R&D) and 10% designers and specialists occupied in other departments. 



International General Fair Celje , 7- 14 September 2005   

Serbian companies participated at the International General Fair Celje. On that occasion, the meeting of the representatives of the regional chambers, Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the Slovenian  Chamber of Commerce was held. The topic of the meeting was: «Improvement of regional cooperation and connecting within the region». A special presentation was given on free zones in Serbia.


Autumn Fair in Zagreb 13 - 18 September 2005        

About ten companies from Serbia participated at Autumn Fair in Zagreb in the organization of Serbian Chamber of Commerce.


Agreement signed between Serbia and Montenegro and Romania, 19 September 2005

Agreement on capital overhaul, modernization and increased installed power of the Hydro-Power Plant Djerdap between Serbia and Montenegro and Romania signed in Bucharest.


Cooperation meeting between Albania and Serbia, 27 September 2005 

The first meeting of the Section for Albania within the SCC will take place in Belgrade. The meeting will be attended by the businesspeople interested in cooperation with Albania, representatives of the Embassy of Albania in Belgrade, Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Chambers.


12th General Fair in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 4 – 9 October 2005 

Serbia will be a partner country at the 12th General Fair in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. On that occasion, a meeting of the businesspeople from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina will be held. The topic of the meeting will be: "Economic Cooperation, Current State and Prospects".

Twelfth meeting of the Joint Committee of Serbia and Romania , 11 - 12 October 2005 

Twelfth meeting of the Joint Committee of Serbia and Romania will take place in that period in Belgrade, with participation of representatives of the governments, Chambers of Commerce and businesspeople.


Twelfth meeting of the Joint Committee of Serbia and Romania , 11 - 12 October 2005

 Twelfth meeting of the Joint Committee of Serbia and Romania will take place in that period in Belgrade, with participation of representatives of the governments, Chambers of Commerce and businesspeople.



Romania - Ten energy companies interested in Electrica Muntenia Sud grid

Bucharest, Sept 16 /Rompres/ - As many as 10 companies acting in energy have submitted letters of interest in taking part in the privatization of Romanian grid Electrica Muntenia Sud, the ministry of economy and trade announced on Thursday.

They are AES Corporation from the United States, CEZ from the Czech Republic, EnBW Energie AG from Germany, ENEL SpA from Italy, E.ON Energie AG from Germany, EVN AG from Austria, Gaz de France from France, Iberdrola from Spain, RWE Energy AG from Germany and Union Fenosa International from Spain. Electrica Muntenia Sud distributes and supplies electricity to some 1.075 million customers in Bucharest and the nearby counties of Ilfov and Giurgiu. The company has a share capital of 191.309 million new lei and a turnover of 1.118 billion new lei.

The privatization entails the sale of a 67.5 percent stake to an individual investor or a consortium by purchasing 50 percent of the shares and increasing the capital up to 67.5 percent.

The future majority shareholder will be free to offer the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the possibility to acquire up to 5 percent of the increased share capital of Electrica Muntenia Sud.

The results of the pre-qualification stage will be announced on October 3.

Source: Romanian National News Agency ROMPRES


National call for tenders in Serbia

More details at www.priv.yu 

(Duration 30 days)

6.10. 2005 Public auction for sale of socialy owned enterprises:

  • Potisje, Ada ( production of tool machines)

  • «Meat Industry Bek», Zrenjanin

20. 09. 2005. Public invitation for participation in the public tender for sale 70% of the company AD DANUBIS, Novi sad (production of miling products).

20. 09. 2005 Public invitation (correction) for participation in the public tender for sale the company «29. Novembar» AD, Subotica.

15. 09. 2005 Public invitation for participation in the public tender for sale of 76,9% of the company for manufacturing rubber and chemical products « Trajal Korporacija», Krusevac.

13.09.2005 Public invitation for participation in the public tender for sale of socially owned capital of the company IPM «Zmaj» (producer of agricultural accessaries).




EU to help upgrade Belgrade's infrastructure

The European Union has announced new funding of €3 million to improve the provision of municipal services in Belgrade. The money will be used to help the local authorities manage key infrastructure projects to ensure efficient and professional use of all investment. Expertise will be provided by EU-funded local and international experts, and the project should help attract further internationally infrastructure investments in the city.


UK and Turkish industry back accession negotiations

The Confederation of British Industry and TUSIAD, representing the Turkish business community, issued a joint public welcome at the end of July for the European Union's decision to commence accession negotiations with Turkey. "We believe this is an important milestone in a journey that should focus minds on the economic dynamics of the EU and Turkey", said Sir Digby Jones, CBI director-general, and Haluk Tukel, director-general of TUSIAD. "It reflects the progress Turkey has made to embrace and deliver reform. Both our organisations see significant benefits of securing Turkey's place within the European single market." They said that Europe "must face up to the challenges of becoming more competitive, of embracing the Lisbon agenda and of effecting economic reform." "Political questions [that] may arise in the negotiations" are "ultimately for member states and the Commission, working with the Turkish government, to address at the appropriate moment", but "In the meantime, our business communities look forward to contributing towards broader and deeper economic reform, and to securing momentum towards Turkey's accession to the EU."


Bosnia and Herzegovina signs up for 2005 EU assistance

In late July, Bosnia and Herzegovina prime minister Adnan Terzic and the head of the European Commission delegation Michael Humphreys signed the agreement on the EU's 2005 financing of €49.5 million for the country under the CARDS programme. The money is intended to help Bosnia and Herzegovina meet its commitments on the road to European integration.


Energy Community for South Eastern Europe

European Union ministers received a report in July on progress in negotiating an integrated energy market with the countries of South-Eastern Europe. Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs told the Energy Council that the time was ripe to conclude an agreement. The European Council in Thessaloniki in 2003 had given political undertakings to the countries of south-eastern Europe, including Turkey, on the development of an integrated market, and in May 2004, the Council mandated the Commission to negotiate a treaty for an Energy Community based on the EU’s 2003 directives for the electricity and gas markets and cross-border trading with Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo (UNMIK) Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. A draft treaty has been initialled by all parties except Turkey in March, and a revised text in May. When Member States will have agreed on final provisions, the treaty could be signed as early as October this year.


Committee of the Regions reviews enlargement

The EU's Committee of the Regions concluded that the accession of Bulgaria and Romania were "on the right path" at the end of their plenary debate in July on EU enlargement. But it emphasised the need for closer links between local authorities and the allocation and management of EU funding – and for related investments in training of local administrations and efforts to combat corruption. The Committee also urged the creation of effective regional and local government mechanisms in Turkey to promote economic and social progress right across the country.



Extension of the period for almost free import of products from the West Balkan countries to the EU market until 2010

Brussels, 12 September 2005 – European Commission proposed the extension of the period established five years ago for almost free import of products from the West Balkan countries to the EU market until 2010, reports Beta Agency according to information from Brussels.

This proposal ought to be adopted by the EU Council of Ministers, its aim being the establishment of a preferential, non-reciprocity trade regime for West Balkans which should revive the economies in the region. The EC rationale states that the steady economic development shall in turn promote the political stability in the entire region.

If the EU Council of Ministers accepts the proposal of the European Commission, as anticipated, Serbia-Montenegro and other West Balkan countries might, in the following five years, continue to export more than 95 per cent of their products to the EU market with no tariff or quantitative limits, including the extremely important agricultural products.

Exceptions from free customs and quantitative import to the EU market relate to wine and certain fisheries products which are still subject to preferential tariff quotas. Sugar is also on this preferential import quota regime, except for the import of such goods from Croatia, which is subject of discussions between EU and Croatia. Specific import duty has been abolished for `baby beef`, but the 20% ad valorem duty is still in force. The EU will keep import quotas for textile products originating in the customs territories of Montenegro and Kosovo.

The European Commission reported that the export from West Balkan countries to the EU marked the annual growth of around eight per cent since 2000.

The European Commission’s proposal will be commented by governments of twenty-five EU member states. It ought to be adopted in autumn and enter into force no later than 31 December this year.

The rationale of this proposal underlines that this is a part of the Stabilization and Association Process and stresses that granting of such concessions to the West Balkan states depends on fulfilment of certain conditions, primarily on respecting of human rights and key principles of democracy. Furthermore, these countries have to demonstrate the readiness to develop mutual economic relations and initiate the reforms and regional integration through trade.


Seminar on the EU issues

Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina organized for its staff a Seminar on issues related to benefits and damages that the accession to the EU may cause to the local economies. The Experience of Slovenia was presented by the Slovenian experts.

In the next period the similar seminars will be organized for the Chamber's members.



Sibiu, Romania – the European Capital  of Culture in 2007


Sibiu (Hermannstadt) was designated European Capital of Culture for the year 2007 together with Luxembourg and the Grand Region of Luxembourg with a decision of the Governments of the European Union Member States on May 27, 2004


Privacy Notice
Association of Balkan Chambers (ABC) respects and protects your privacy, and does not sell or exchange email addresses or any personal contact information provided during the registration process, unless explicitly approved by the user. All email distributions are managed by ABC. If you have any questions, please contact Iuliana KLEBLEEV,