The Institute for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, as a partner of the Center for Research and Policy Making from Skopje, organized a round table ‘Info day – Dialogue on the Regional Investment Agenda (RIRA)’ on Thursday, September 20th.

The Info Day was organized within the framework of the project ‘Establishment of dialogue on the Regional Investment Reform Agenda among government institutions, the private sector and civil society organizations’, supported by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).

The project is implemented in six economies of the Western Balkans and aims to involve all stakeholders in the regional investment policy program. The Regional Investment Reform Agenda (RIRA) is one of four pillars of the multi-annual plan for the creation of a regional economic zone and is linked to the European integration of the Western Balkans, the implementation of the CEFTA agreement and the 2020 Strategy for South East Europe.

At the very beginning, Radosav Babic, Director General of the Directorate for Investments, Development of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and Management of EU Funds in the Ministry of Economy and MAP coordinator, addressed the participants and emphasized that reforms are on-going to wake up economic cooperation and create a more dynamic investment environment.

Jovana Krunic, Head of the Directorate for International Economic Relations and Member of the Committee for South East Europe, held a detailed presentation on the RIRA agenda, pointed out the importance of the private sector and civil society in the implementation of the RIRA agenda and shared with the present details on the Action Plan that Montenegro will adopt in the forthcoming period.

Being asked whether the region of the Western Balkans is an investment destination, Nina Drakic, director of the Analysis and Research Division, responds that the region is developing and that it is an investment destination, but that there are a number of constraints, such as mutual trade that is not sufficiently utilized.

When talking about business environment and investments, it is important to point out the observations of foreign investors. Marija Sukovic, director of the Montenegrin Foreign Investors Council, said that the business environment is constantly improving. According to the information from the White Book published by the Council every year, the index of the ease of doing business for 2017 on a scale of 1-10 is 6.47 and represents a trend of growth and one of the great challenges is the rule of law which is a prerequisite for business development.

The round table was attended by representatives of institutions, the private sector and civil society organizations with the desire to be involved in further project activities and policy dialogue on the RIRA agenda.

To recall, representatives of the six economies of the Western Balkans supported the Regional Investment Reform Agenda at a ministerial meeting held on May 11 in Tivat.