Balkan Business Dialogue 2020 held in The Hague

In the first week of March, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) in cooperation with Dutch embassies in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, Serbia and Greece organized the Balkan Business Dialogue 2020 (BBD) in The Hague. The event was organized for all parties in the Netherlands who are interested in doing business in the Balkans.

Balkan Business Dialogue presented the ccontinuation of efforts of RVO and Dutch embassies to promote opportunities for doing businesses in Balkan countries. For many years already, RVO has paid particular attention to the Balkan countries. With many impressive results achieved, it was only natural to pursue further promotion and stimulation of cooperation between companies and institutions and to bring opportunities to the attention of Dutch businesses. At BBD, practical stories about doing business in this region were shared, while there were also discussions about the approach to sustainability issues that are currently topical in the Balkans region.

In presence of representatives of embassies of the above mentioned countries in the Netherlands, more than 50 participating Dutch companies and institutions follow break-out sessions for three sectors – Water, Logistics & Infrastructure and ICT.

Based on previous projects and activities, sector-based division of lead parties was established, with embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina having the lead in Water, embassy in Greece the lead in Logistics & Infrastructure and North Macedonia the lead in ICT. For all three sectors, during the sessions results of studies on business opportunities were presented.

Follow-up activities will be performed by the Dutch embassies in the Balkan countries, in close cooperation with the RVO. For the water sector, the Netherlands Water Partnership, network of Dutch organizations in the water sector with international ambitions, (NWP) is involved as well. This network has expressed willingness and will be engaged in the follow-up of the BBD.

Organization of the Balkan Business Dialogue and the anticipated follow-up activities can be seen as a best-practice of inter-institutional, inter-sectoral and international cooperation, as approached by the Dutch government. Additionally, values of regional cooperation are an important segment of this approach and serve as a vehicle for overall development of the region. Concretely, Dutch embassies in the Balkan region have developed and established a webpage that serves as a platform for the promotion of opportunities in the region.

As a participating embassy, Netherlands embassy in Sarajevo is proud to be part of such an activity and happy to be able to refer to previous successful projects which have left long-term, sustainable results in places of implementation, while creating contacts and networks which will easy any initiation of future projects.