Conclusions 2015

KEY IDEAS AND CONCLUSIONS from workshops
THE 4TH ANNUAL SUMMIT100, PORTOROŽ, 1-2 JUNE 2015

Executive Summary
There were six thematic roundtables/workshops (digital economy, energy agenda, food and beverages, infrastructure and transport, knowledge based economy, tourism) at the Summit100 2015, held on June 1-2, 2015 in Portorož, Slovenia, focusing on finding key projects, ideas that would further improve regional cooperation, competitiveness of the companies, national economies and regional economy as a whole and thus improve the living standards for all citizens of the region of SouthEast Europe, with special focus on Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

Key conclusions/projects are:
(each roundtable/workshop presented among many ideas one that could be addressed by governments)

1. Digital economy: Installing a role of Chief Information Officer in each of the Governments in the region
2. Energy agenda: Policy standardization of regional level for investments in renewable energy sources (in line with EU practices)
3. Food and beverages: Improved transport infrastructure, privatization of land and origin branding for food/ beverages from the region (eg. similar to the concept of Eataly project)
4. Infrastructure and transport: Implement IT system to support standards and harmonized regional customs and inspection procedure to result in zero time waste at the border
5. Knowledge based economy: Attract 100,000 foreign students in the region in the next 5 years by consolidating existing capacities, implementing international marketing strategy and securing technical/ regulatory support (visas, nostrifications)
6. Tourism: Removing administrative (visas) and infrastructure barriers and work on branding the region and sharing experiences to boost tourism development

Digital Economy
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Trends/ challenges in the region
• Raising awareness on importance of going digital to stay competitive – digitalization!
• Digital equals knowledge in a fast moving global trends

The initiatives to address key issues
Objective: Equip people in the region for digital life to improve quality of life/ doing business
Key action steps:
• Influence policy agenda in order to make digital agenda valuable
• Introduce digital leadership in governments to coordinate digitalization – Chief Information Officer in every government in the region either a person or a body
• Create programs, platforms to support digital entrepreunership

Stakeholders involved:
• Governments
• Municipalities
• Civil society
• Companies

Energy Agenda
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Trends/ challenges in the region
• Net importer of energy
• Energy seen in the region as a social category
• Strong state-owned incumbents
• Investments in renewable energy sources
• Capacity mechanism challenges

Summary and key points
• Energy efficiency as potential second initiative

The initiatives to address key issues
Objective: Policy standardization of regional level for investments in renewable energy resources (in line with EU practices)
Key action steps:
• Establishing of regional coordination committee
• Best practice sharing platform to be formed among businesses
• Transparency of regional practices
• Drafting of improvement options

Stakeholders involved:
• Ministries responisble for energy throughout the region
• Incumbent companies – power generation companies throughout the region (EPS; HEP, EPCG, etc)
• Businesses
• Chambers of commerce
• Institutes
• EBRD or another neutral insitutions on EU level

Food and Beverages
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Trends/ challenges in the region
• Obsolete transport infrastructure
• Administrative barriers at the customs
• Lack of policy coordination including privatization of land, among countries in the region
• Capacity issues of regional companies

The initiatives to address key issues

Objective: Improve transport infrastructure, privatization of land and origin branding for food/ beverages from the region (eg. similar to the concept of Eataly project) while removing administrative and regulatory obstacles and allowing creation of regional players (consolidation)

Key action steps:
• Creating regional projects and regionally approaching International financial institutions for funding (EBRD, EIB, IFC; etc)
• Appoint single point of contact to allow monitoring and undertake corrective actions in policy coordination in the region

Stakeholders involved:
• Governments, Ministries of transport/ infrastructure, Regional cooperation council, International financial institutions
• Agencies, think-thanks, business associations
• Line ministries, agencies, laboratories, businesses
• Development agencies, Industry policy cross-country teams, professional associations, tax experts, Ministries of finance

Infrastructure and Transport
shadow

Trends/ challenges in the region
• Regulatory issues
• Administrative barriers/ missing alternatives
• Missing two-way cargo transport / underdeveloped infrastructure missing transport network

Summary and key points
• To increase competitivenss
• Investments needed
• Inter-modality
• Optimization of resources and capacities

The initiatives to address key issues
Objective: Implement IT system to support standards and harmonized customs and inspection procedure to allow zero time waste at the border. Also there is need to improve competitiveness of infrastructure and transport in the region, to optimize existing capacities, to develop cross – border inter model corridor (East-West & North-South) and to further empower business initiatives (PPPs, concessions, etc.)

Key action steps:
• Standardization of interregional systems
• Pricing revision
• Regional infrastructure pool

Stakeholders involved:
• Private business/ corporate
• State & public companies
• Governments
• EU Commission

Knowledge Based Economy
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Trends/ challenges in the region
• Necessity to boost entrepreneurship in the region
• Brain drain as a big problem of the whole region
• Strategic choices due to lack of strategy
• Structure of knowledge is seen as a challenge
• Necessity to increase and improve education offering in the region

The initiative to address key issues
Objective: To attract 100,000 foreign students in the region in the next 5 years
Key action steps:
• Consolidate existing education capacities in the region
• Create consortium of regional educational leaders
• International marketing strategy with national and local governments support
• Technical and regulatory support to resolve issues with visas, nostrifications, partnerships
Stakeholders involved:
• Local governments/ education ministries and government institutions
• Universities and international universities
• Private sector

Tourism
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Trends/ challenges in the region
• Overall low occupancy in the region
• Problems with the promotion of the region – Balkans or alternative
• No offers to medical tourists, senior citizens, adventure entertainment

The initiatives to address key issues
Objective: To attract international tourists with improved contents throughout the region and to remove administrative and infrastructure barriers (visas, transport)
Key action steps:
• Remove administrative barriers (visas) or introduce a single visa for the region
• Remove infrastructure barriers (flight connections, connectivity of the region, improved roads)
• Work on branding the region as a single tourist destination with numerous attractions (seaside, mountains, health tourism at spas, sightseeing in capital, monasteries, natural beauties, entertainment opportunities, etc)
• Creating an ongoing platform in the region for interacting and exchanging informations, best practices throughout the region
Stakeholders involved:
• Ministries in charge with tourism, transport or admin/ regulatory issues
• Private sector in tourism
• National tourist organizations