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18 | Promo » Promo Privreda Economy Op en Ba l k an i n i t i at i ve Placeworthy of investment Building a common regional market that’s free of barriers will make it easier for local companies to do business together and will render the region even more attractive to future investors from around the world “For the economy of SerbiaandtheWestern Balkans, but also for companies from around the world that are increasingly redirecting their investments and supply chains towards our region, this is a year of newopportunities that have openedwith the start of the building a common regional market within the scope of the Foto: Miša Obadović OpenBalkan initiative,” saysMarko Čadež, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia and chairman of the Western Balkans Chamber Investment Forum, speaking in this interview for Elevate. He says that he’s convinced that nothing will improve the business climate, ease operations for local and foreign companies that operate here, contribute to the recovery and growth of the Western Balkan economies and the greater inflowof foreign investments in Serbia and the region like regional economic integration. And he considers the OpenBalkan initiative as being “the best way for us to accelerate these processes ourselves”. What tangible benefits will the Open Balkan initiative bring for businesspeople? “With the establishingof a common regionalmarketwithout barriers, as a zone of the freemovement of people, goods, services and capital, companies that operate here, both domestic and foreign, will be able to reduce their costs, while operations within the region will be renderedmore efficient, productive and competitive, thus rendering the region even more attractive to the international business community, to future investors who can rely not only on the small national markets inwhich theywill invest, but rather also on the larger common regional market. It will enable goods to travel throughout the region with one mutually-harmonised document, trucks not to spend hours waiting at border crossings, workers and experts to be exchanged without bureaucratic procedures, regulations and practises in all areas of importance to business to be harmonised – mutually and with EU standards – for us to work according to the same rules etc.” You stated recently that the Open Balkan initiative has been brought to life with