Industry

Western Balkans – in business we trust

Objectives

  • Improvement of industrial development
  • Alignment of strategies with Smart Specialisation and 4th Industrial Revolution
  • Development and internationalisation of region’s value chains in priority sectors
  • Increased value of export of goods and services per capita in the region
  • Improved competitiveness of regional tourism industry
  • Improved tourism infrastructure
  • Increased tourism inflow, length of stay and revenues
  • Establish Western Balkans as a tourism destination
  • Administrative obstacles to free flow of tourists identified and being addressed
  • Increased employment in tourism

Results

  • Public-private-academic dialogue in industrial development and innovation established
  • Preparation of Smart Specialisation and Entrepreneurial Discovery Process platforms commenced throughout the region
  • Activities on development of regional value chains and joint products in priority industries initiated
  • Pursuing re-industrialisation of SEE region through analysing, designing and coordinating national industrial policies initiated
  • Preparation of joint regional products and value chains in priority sectors commenced
  • Helped development of the tourism in the Western Balkans through the Tourism Development Project, which first phase is in the final stage

The RCC’s activities in the area of industry focus on fostering industrial development of the region and include coordination of regional public-private-academic dialogue on re-design, implementation and monitoring of industrial policies, and aligning them with the acquis, as well as with Smart Specialisation strategies (S3).

The RCC supports improving industrial competitiveness through introduction of inclusive innovation policies, including alignment with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and establishing initiatives for development of regional value chains and participation in the EU programmes and other projects that can enhance industrial development of the region. Furthermore, sectoral work (currently in the area of tourism with the intention to add more value chains in other priority sectors for the region) facilitates development of regional value chains and their integration into European and global value chains.

The RCC’s work in the sectoral part of the industry is currently in the area of tourism with the focus on consolidation of the Western Balkans (WB6: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) regional tourism offer through development of joint regional tourism routes in cultural and adventure tourism with the goal to attract more international tourists, lengthen their stay in the region, increase revenues and contribute to the employment in the industry. Further focus is on promotion of developed products, contributing to the establishment of the Western Balkans as an attractive and quality tourism destination. The RCC also works with the WB economies to identify policy barriers to free flow of tourists and further growth of tourism in the region, and formulate recommendations to alleviate them.

Furthermore, the aim is to also improve tourism infrastructure and services at sites and locations on the joint regional routes through delivery of small-scale grants through the EU funded Triple P in Tourism in SEE: Promotion, Policy and Pilots.

The RCC support to tourism development is delivered in coordination with the SEEIC Tourism Expert Group (TEG) that comprises public and privates sectors, including policy makers, and civil society active in tourism development from the WB6 economies.

The RCC will further work on improvement of industrial base in the region supporting the design and implementation of regional approaches to industrial development and the current priority sectors by promoting their internationalisation; FDI attraction through targeted investment promotion activities; and addressing main barriers hindering not only the development of these sectors per se, but also creation of the regional value chains. We will work towards using the nearshoring advantages in terms of offering companies outside WB region benefits of cost savings, access to skilled people, greater speed to market and control over the supply chain.A shorter supply chain means more savings, flexibility, reduced inventory and better customer services.

The efforts will focus on promoting regional dialogue among the WB economies and information exchange on economic transformation and diversification as well as on effective industrial policy design. Industrial policy structure will also address issues related to the priority sectors and those relating to SME development and entrepreneurship.
Furthermore, the RCC will work on supporting business integration of the region by creating value chains in priority industries – either in the form of supply chains or joint regional products/offers – and supporting their international promotion. By doing so, we intend to help our businesses reap the benefits of economies of scale, whilst becoming more competitive on the global market and increasing exports. Naturally, the voice and participation of the business is crucial in this, and we will integrate private sector more in our work.

The RCC activities under this agenda are mostly being implemented through the following:

Next steps

  • Assist the region in addressing barriers and challenges to industrial development
  • Support reindustrialisation of the region through innovation and alignment with Smart Specialisation (S3)  strategies and 4th Industrial Revolution
  • Assist SEE economies in fulfilling particular industry-related obligations which stem from the EU pre-accession process
  • Identify and prioritise common issues and challenges that hinder industrial development
  • Facilitate concrete and tangible projects related to promoting exports
  • Work on developing joint products/offers and supply networks and promote them internationally (i.e. regional tourism routes for domestic and global travellers)
  • Implement direct interventions on the ground to address specific and immediate gaps identified by the region
  • Assist the region in developing and promoting joint products, services, and supply chains
  • Initiate and foster public-private partnerships

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