A ministerial conference of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC)'s South East Europe Investment Committee (SEEIC) was held in Tirana on Friday. The Western Balkan economy ministers addressed 11 exclusive targets for economic growth in the region to be reached by 2020.
The ministers agreed to promote economic and social development across South east Europe and bring the region closer to European Union. The 11 targets constitute the South East Europe 2020 (SEE 2020) strategy. The SEE 2020 strategy has many similarities with the Europe 2020 strategy but is adjusted to the specific needs of the region.
According to ministerial declaration the main targets of SEE 2020 are: to increase regional GDP per capita from 38% to 46% of the EU-27 average, to grow region’s total value of trade in goods and services by more than 130%; and reducing the trade deficit from 14.1 to 11.6 per cent of the regional GDP. Furthermore, SEE 2020’s goals is to increase intra-regional trade in goods by more than 230% to 42 billion euro, the overall foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to 7.5 billion euro, and the GDP per person employed by 33%. Moreover they want to increase the rate of enterprise creation by 20%, exports of goods and services per capita from the region by 130%, and the overall employment rate by 12%. Finally they envision adding 300,000 highly educated people to the region’s workforce and increasing government effectiveness by 20% by 2020”.
The economy ministers committed to support regional cooperation. They said that a set of policy targets will help the region to anchor a long term reform. Governments, stakeholders and the public should continue to strengthen its bonds and work closely in order to achieve SEE 2020 targets. The SEE 2020 will be adopted at the next ministerial meeting at the end of 2013