June 24, 2009   MEETING OF PRESIDENTS OF CEFTA CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

The meeting of presidents of CEFTA Chambers of Commerce that was held in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce was attented by presidents and representatives of the chambers of commerce of Belgrade, Republic of Srpska, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia, Vojvodina and Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia&Herzegovina. It was concluded that the turnover and volume of trade between CEFTA countries dropped by 38-40% in the first quarter of 2009 in comparison to the same period last year.
The main topic of the meeting was consistent implementation of CEFTA Trade Agreement in the area of free trade, cooperation between chambers of commerce, mutual recognition of quality certificates (sanitary, phytosanitary, veterinary, and certificates for industrial products that are subject to national regulations).
Recently adopted Law on Protection of Domestic Production of the B&H which re-establishes the payment of customs on certain agricultural and food products imported from Serbia and Croatia has been recognized by all participants as a non-complying with CEFTA Agreement of 2006, that is, as a violation of that Agreement. The Law will substantially affect export from Serbia to B&H that accounts for 50 % of the Serbian total export of agricultural products worth USD 230 million a year. This will also result in decline of overall Serbian foreign trade and trade surplus with B&H.
In 2010, the Republic of Serbia will take over from Montenegro presidency of the CEFTA Committee. Its main activity will concern the liberalization of service rendering and public procurement, concluded the President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.