The Old Bridge, Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Photo by David Dufresne (CC 2.0)
Challenges to Balkan economic growth include the need for further technological advancement, access to financial credit, sustainable employment growth and stability, the protection and responsible management of natural resources, private sector investment and improved transportation infrastructure which facilitates local trade and exports.
Notwithstanding these and other challenges, it has been aptly noted that “nothing is more imminent than the impossible”*. As a result, the Balkan Economic Forum (BEF) focuses on the issues that are pivotal to the resolution of these challenges while at the same time increasing awareness of financial resources and instruments available through experienced financial institutions as well as European Union programmes that are fundamental to economic growth.
Current issues include:
- Energy Independence
- Natural Resource Management and Conservation
- Participation of Financial and Governmental Institutions
Education and Training
- The engagement of academicians and students at leading Balkan universities for the development and implementation of improved business models that spur employment growth, inter-state cooperation and global competitiveness
- Collaboration between Business and Academia
- Organised Crime and Corruption
- Climate Change
In furtherance of its mission to stimulate sustainable Balkan economic development, the BEF provides various venues for its members to discuss key issues, forge new alliances and generate innovative ideas, strategies and proposals for the advancement of Balkan business investment including the growth of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) with the participation of experienced financial institutions. Woven into the fabric of economic growth is the inclusion of educational opportunities, technical training, energy independence, technological advancement and the conservation as well as responsible management of natural resources on which certain industries, food security and public health depend.
These issues provide a basis on which new ideas and commitments to economic development action are generated for implementation that will lead to measurable results, socio-economic benefits and an internationally recognised Balkan identity.
* Hugo, Victor; “Les Miserables”, Vol. IV, Book XIV, Chapter V, paragraph 2 (1862)