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Investment and Asset Management, Economy, Emerging Markets

FT Western Balkans Forum

Investment Opportunities in a Fast-Growing Region

London |
Speakers include:
Sir Suma  Chakrabarti

Sir Suma Chakrabarti

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Ana  Brnabić

Ana Brnabić

Republic of Serbia

Arnulf  Wolfram

Arnulf Wolfram

Siemens Mobility Austria


The Western Balkans region is experiencing increased growth and inward investment, and according to the World Bank, its rate of economic growth hit 3.8% in 2018 and is projected to outpace that of the EU at an average of 3.7% for the period 2019-20.

Potential exists in sectors as diverse as ICT, finance and services, agriculture, automotive parts and tourism. Investors say they are attracted to the countries that make up the region – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – because of macroeconomic stability characterised by low inflation, low budget deficit and stable public debt. The region’s economies are improving their business environment, and offering comparatively low labour and utility costs, combined with a favourable tax regime. However, challenges remain, with further reforms needed to speed up administration, improve trade flows, reduce red tape and develop workforce skills.

The Financial Times and Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum present the Western Balkans Forum, a half-day event featuring speeches, presentations, discussions and dialogues exploring the opportunities of investing in the region. Guests will have the chance to listen to and network with political leaders and policy makers, business leaders who have invested in the region, as well as consultants, economists and officials from international financial institutions.

fallback Add to my Calendar 06/18/2019 08:00:0306/18/2019 13:30:00trueFT Western Balkans ForumThe Western Balkans region is experiencing increased growth and inward investment, and according to the World Bank, its rate of economic growth hit 3.8% in 2018 and is projected to outpace that of the EU at an average of 3.7% for the period 2019-20.Potential exists in sectors as diverse as ICT, finance and services, agriculture, automotive parts and tourism. Investors say they are attracted to the countries that make up the region – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – because of macroeconomic stability characterised by low inflation, low budget deficit and stable public debt. The region’s economies are improving their business environment, and offering comparatively low labour and utility costs, combined with a favourable tax regime. However, challenges remain, with further reforms needed to speed up administration, improve trade flows, reduce red tape and develop workforce skills.The Financial Times and Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum present the Western Balkans Forum, a half-day event featuring speeches, presentations, discussions and dialogues exploring the opportunities of investing in the region. Guests will have the chance to listen to and network with political leaders and policy makers, business leaders who have invested in the region, as well as consultants, economists and officials from international financial institutions.FT-Western-Balkans-Forum8c5e166f671934ed2baf48754699b9e7MM/DD/YYYY

Agenda - 18th Jun

  • 8:00am
    Registration and Networking Breakfast
  • 9:00am
    Opening remarks

    Tony Barber, European Affairs Commentator and Associate Editor, Financial Times

    Marko Čadež, President, Managing Board, Western Balkan 6 Chamber Investment Forum

  • 9:10am
    Opening Keynote

    Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

  • 9:30am
    Western Balkans Economic Outlook
    • What is the regional outlook for growth?
    • How will EU and Chinese investment impact on the region?
    • What are the key economic and trade challenges ahead?
    • How can investors in the Western Balkans benefit from economic developments in the wider region?

    Linda Van Gelder, Country Director, Western Balkans Region, World Bank

  • 9:40am
    In conversation with the FT

    Prime Ministers from the Western Balkans join our FT chair to discuss how they are addressing some of the key issues facing the region.

    Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister, Government of Serbia

    Edi Rama, Prime Minister, Government of Albania

    Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister, Government of North Macedonia


    Tony Barber, European Affairs Commentator and Associate Editor, Financial Times

  • 10:20am
    Networking break
  • 10:50am
    Introduction to FDI in the Western Balkans

    Majlinda Bregu, Secretary General, Regional Cooperation Council

  • 10:55am
    Followed by Panel discussion: The Western Balkans and FDI
    • What is the role of FDI in the Western Balkans?
    • How are initiatives at the country and regional level boosting trade and encouraging international investors?
    • How are EU accession plans impacting on the region?
    • What impact is the Belt and Road initiative having on FDI in the region?
    • Why are businesses choosing the Western Balkans? And how are they harnessing the opportunities of investing in the region?
    • What challenges does the Western Balkans still face? And how are they being overcome?
    • How can the region encourage more FDI?
    • How can investors un-tap the potential of state-owned companies?

    Slavko Andrejevic, Managing Director, Financial Sponsors EMEA, Nomura

    Marko Čadež, President, Managing Board, Western Balkan 6 Chamber Investment Forum

    Zsuzsanna Hargitai, Director, Western Balkans, EBRD

    Matteo Rivellini, Head of Division Western Balkans, European Investment Bank

    Nikos Stathopoulos, Partner, BC Partners


    Tony Barber, European Affairs Commentator and Associate Editor, Financial Times

  • 11:45am
    Investor Insight: Learning from experience
    • Why do foreign businesses invest in the Western Balkans?
    • What are the challenges of investing in the region? And how do you overcome them?
    • How can you protect yourself against the risks of an investment in the Western Balkans?
    • How do you make the most of a Western Balkans investment?
    • What can potential investors learn from an existing investor’s experience?
    • How do you achieve first mover advantage in the region?

    Robert Knorr, Co-Managing Partner, Mid Europa Partners

    Arnulf Wolfram, CEO, Siemens Mobility Austria


    Valerie Hopkins, South East Europe Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 12:15pm
    Regional focus: Fostering and expanding home-grown talent

    What is the role of home-grown businesses in the region’s economy?
    How easy is it for home-grown businesses to expand into other territories within the region?
    What do home-grown businesses want from government and from corporate partners?

    Almir Jazvin, Member of the Supervisory Board, ASA Prevent Group

    Andrej Jovanovic, General Manager, Moji Brendovi

    Samir Mane, CEO, Balfin Group


    Valerie Hopkins, South East Europe Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 12:45pm
    Interactive Q&A

    Featuring government ministers from the region

    Kocho Angjushev, Deputy Prime Minister, Economic Affairs, Government of North Macedonia

    Valdrin Lluka, Minister of Economic Development, Government of Kosovo

    Dragica Sekulic, Minister of Economy, Government of Montenegro


    Valerie Hopkins, South East Europe Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 1:10pm
    Closing remarks

    Tony Barber, European Affairs Commentator and Associate Editor, Financial Times

  • 1:15pm
    Networking lunch

Speakers (19)

Sir Suma  Chakrabarti

Sir Suma Chakrabarti

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Sir Suma Chakrabarti was elected to the four-year presidency of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2012. He has extensive experience in international development economics and policy making, as well as in designing and implementing wider public service reform. 

Most recently he was Permanent Secretary at the British Ministry of Justice and was its most senior civil servant. Prior to this, from 2002, he headed the UK’s Department for International Development (formerly the Overseas Development Administration (ODA) ) where he worked closely with economies in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East and North Africa undergoing substantial reform. Sir Suma is notable for playing a key role in developing the UK's successful Know-How Fund for Central and Eastern Europe and worked with the European Commission on improving its programmes in the Middle East and North Africa. 

In the late 1990s, he worked in the UK Treasury, where he was responsible for public expenditure, and in the early 2000s he worked in the Cabinet Office, where he led on cross-departmental strategic issues and subsequently the management of the Cabinet agenda.

He has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford and a Masters in Development Economics from the University of Sussex. He holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sussex and East Anglia and the Bucharest University of Economic Sciences.

Ana  Brnabić

Ana Brnabić

Prime Minister
Republic of Serbia

Ana Brnabić is Prime Minister of Serbia. She was previously Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government. She is also the President of the Serbian government’s Council for Innovative Entrepreneurship and Information Technologies and the Serbian Council for National Minorities, and Vice President of the Serbian Council for Public Administration Reform.

Ms Brnabić is a member of the New Leaders for Europe group, which is part of the World Economic Forum.

Before joining the government, she worked with international organisations, foreign investors, local governments and the public sector in Serbia. She also helped found non-profit organisation PEXIM and was its first Executive Director, as well as a member of the Managing Board.

Ms Brnabić has an MBA in Marketing from Hull University, UK.

Arnulf  Wolfram

Arnulf Wolfram

Siemens Mobility Austria

Arnulf Wolfram has been CEO of Siemens Mobility Austria since 2018 with responsibility for the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region.

Mr Wolfram is also a member of the steering committee of the Austrian Electrotechnical Association and President of Austrian Mobile Power.

He started his career as an industrial management assistant at Siemens Austria in 1977. Following various sales and commercial leadership roles as well as the position of Technical Head at the company’s electronics plant in Vienna, he was appointed Head of Finance and Accounting in 2004 with responsibility for the CEE region. In 2010 he took over the management of the Mobility division in the CEE region.

Mr Wolfram studied business administration at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria.

Zoran  Zaev

Zoran Zaev

Prime Minister
Government of North Macedonia

Zoran Zaev is Prime Minister and President of North Macedonia.

He has been a member of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) party since 1996, and was a member of Macedonia’s Parliament from 2003 to 2005. He has been Leader of the ruling SDSM party since 2013.

He was mayor of the city of Strumica from 2005-2016. In 2008 and 2009 the city won the highest national environmental award, while as Mayor, Mr Zaev won the Best Practice Award from the Council of Europe for the first Public-Private Partnership in the country, which supported the construction of Strumica’s Global shopping centre.

He was elected Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia in May 2017 with a mandate to lead a new reform-oriented government. He also started leading the country towards Euro-Atlantic integration focusing on good-neighbourly politics and restoring the trust of its strategic partners from the EU and the USA.

Since becoming Prime Minister, Mr Zaev has signed the Agreement for Strategic Partnership, Friendship and Good-Neighbourliness with Bulgaria, and in June 2018 he signed the Prespa agreement with Greece for the resolution of the name issue. In July 2018 he was invited to start the accession process for NATO membership.

Mr Zaev, together with Prime Minister Tsipras of Greece, is a recipient of the Ewald Fon Kleist award and the Emerging Europe award for best practice in promoting cooperation, unity, inclusion, diversity and positive thinking. The two leaders were also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019.

Edi  Rama

Edi Rama

Prime Minister
Government of Albania

Edi Rama is the Prime Minister of Albania. His involvement in the public and political life of the country started with the movement for democracy that led to the dismantling of the communist regime in Albania, with Mr Rama being one of the most publicly outspoken members and a key leader of the students’ movement at the Academy of Fine Arts.

He entered politics as Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports in 1998. He was elected Mayor of Tirana in 2000 and won the World Mayor Award in 2004 and Time Magazine’s European Hero Award. He was re-elected in 2003 and 2007 and led the Albanian Capital for 11 years.

In 2005, he was elected Chair of the Socialist Party of Albania, leading the party to victory in 2013 and in 2017.

Mr Rama has also worked in arts, sports and teaching.

Nikos  Stathopoulos

Nikos  Stathopoulos

BC Partners

Nikos Stathopoulos is Partner and Member of the Executive Committee and Investment Committee of BC Partners, a leading global investment firm with US$25 billion of assets under management. He joined BC Partners in 2005 and has more than 20 years experience in private equity. He has been an active investor in the media, telecoms, consumer and retail industries.

Prior to joining BC Partners, Nikos was a Partner at Apax Partners in London where he spent seven years working on large buy-out transactions in Europe. Prior to Apax he spent three years as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in London. Nikos is Chairman of the Board of United Group, Acuris, Cigierre, Dental Pro, and Pharmathen, Vice-Chairman of Migros Turk and Member of the Board of Springer Nature. Nikos is a member of the Global Advisory Board of Harvard Business School, the Board of Trustees of Impetus, the Board of Trustees of the American School in London, a member of the council of Serpentine Galleries, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Chairman of the BC Partners Foundation.

Nikos holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a degree in Business Administration from Athens University of Economics & Business (AUEB).

Robert  Knorr

Robert Knorr

Co-Managing Partner
Mid Europa Partners 

Robert Knorr has been with Mid Europa since its inception in 1999. As a Co-Managing Partner, he co-leads the firm and chairs its Management Committee. Robert also heads the firm's Retail and Consumer practice and leads Mid Europa's origination effort. He is also on the boards of Moji Brendovi (consumer group, former Yugoslavia), Profi (food retailer, Romania), Hortex (frozen food and juices manufacturer, Poland), Waberer’s (transportation and logistics company, Hungary), Allegro (online marketplace, Poland) and Urgent Cargus (delivery company, Romania).

Prior to joining Mid Europa, Robert worked at Bankers Trust and Deutsche Bank in London and Milan. He has a BA in Economics and Business from the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, and a Master’s in Finance from London Business School.

Valdrin  Lluka

Valdrin Lluka

Minister of Economic Development
Government of Kosovo

Valdrin Lluka has been Minister of Economic Development for Kosovo since 2017. He is responsible for the development of the energy, mining and ICT sectors in the country and the supervision of all public enterprises.

He was previously an executive and entrepreneur with more than 12 years of experience in private sector development, management, management consulting and leadership development. This includes leading a fresh and processed food production company employing more than 200 from 2015 – 2017. Mr Lluka worked for Deloitte, Carlson Consulting Enterprise and mobile virtual network operator Z Mobile from 2005 – 2010.

Mr Lluka has developed, implemented and overseen promotional activities to attract foreign investment into Kosovo and promote local products abroad through the Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Support Agency, where he was General Director from 2011 -2014. He also led the National Council of Economic Zones and was on several economic development boards.

Mr Lluka was Co-Chair of the Kosovo American Education Fund (KAEF) Committee from 2014 – 2018. This promotes the long-term economic development of Kosovo through education.

Mr Lluka has an MBA from the University of Minnesota, USA, and a BA in Economics and Information Systems from the American University in Bulgaria.  

Kocho  Angjushev

Kocho Angjushev

Deputy Prime Minister, Economic Affairs
Government of North Macedonia

Kocho Angjushev has been North Macedonia’s Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs since 2017. 

He worked in academia for almost two decades, including as a visiting researcher at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Aachen, Germany, andas a visiting professor at Loughborough University, UK. 

He is the Founder and CEO of Fero Invest Group, a holding company founded in 2003 that owns equity in various businesses, predominantly in the fields of engineering, manufacturing and energy. Under his leadership more than 50 mechanical engineering and energy projects have been implemented. He has been an active member and subsequently Vice President of the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia from 2004 - 2017. In 2013 he was elected President of the Macedonian Energy Association.

Dr Angjushev has a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Mechanics and Dynamics of Machines from Saints Cyril and Methodius University ofSkopje, North Macedonia.

Majlinda  Bregu

Majlinda Bregu

Secretary General
Regional Cooperation Council

Majlinda Bregu has been Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council since January 2019.

Ms Bregu was a Member of the Albanian Parliament from 2005-2017 representing the centre-right Democratic Party. She was the country’s longest serving Minister of Integration (2007-2013).

From 2013-2017 she chaired Albania’s European Integration Committee and from 2015-2017 she chaired the National Council for European Integration.

She has a degree in Social Sciences, a Master’s in Social and Political Science and a PhD in Sociology.

Andrej  Jovanovic

Andrej Jovanovic

General Manager
Moji Brendovi

Andrej Jovanovic has been General Manager of Moji Brendovi since 2015.

He began his career in 1995 with the establishment of Marbo Product, which became south-eastern Europe’s leading savoury snack company and was acquired by PepsiCo in 2008.

In 2012 he co-founded Medigroup, the first private health platform to consolidate the private health sector. In 2014 he started working on A Blok, the largest residential and commercial project in Belgrade. He is currently working on several other large property projects in other areas of the city.

In 2016 he became one of the owners of KBM bank from Kragujevac. In 2017 Findomestic Bank and Piraeus Bank were acquired and the three banks were incorporated into Direktna Banka.

He has also worked with Hilton on the development and construction of the first 5-star hotel in Belgrade which opened in March 2018.

Samir  Mane

Samir Mane

Balfin Group

Samir Mane is CEO of Balfin Group. He is also the Honorary Consul of Thailand for Albania.  

Since the collapse of Communism in Albania, Mr Mane has built a considerable business network. This includes setting up electronics and home appliances firm Alba Trade, and in 1993, establishing the Neptun chain of stores in Tirana, Albania, which now has outlets across the country as well as in Kosovo and Macedonia. In 2002, he set up Mane TCI, one of the biggest construction companies in Albania. 

In 2005, Mr Mane established QTU, the first shopping centre n Albania. He also set up Euromax, the country’s first grocery store chain, and Fashion Group, which brought international clothing brands to Albania. 

In 2011, he finalised the investment in Tirana East Gate (TEG), the biggest commercial centre in Albania. 

In 2012, Balfin Group invested in Skopje City Mall in North Macedonia and in 2013 it was involved in setting up Tirana Logistic Park. Mr Mane has since added AlbChrome and New Co Ferronickel to the Balfin Group as well as two of the largest tourism projects in Albania: Green Coast Resort and Vala Mar Residences.

In 2018, the company started the development of Skopje East Gate (SEG), and in 2019, Mr Mane became the majority owner of Tirana Bank, Albania’s first private bank. 

In 2008 he was named by the Financial Times as one of the topfour ‘people to watch in business’ in Albania.

Almir Jazvin

Almir Jazvin

Member of the Supervisory Board
ASA Prevent Group

Almir Jazvin is a former investment banker with 20 years of professional experience in southeastern Europe. He is a member of the Supervisory Board of ASA Prevent Group in Bosnia and Herzegovina where he supervises operations in southeastern Europe with over 8,000 employees. During his tenure at ASA Prevent, Almir has also held a number of CEO and other executive positions.

He is the leading regional expert in M&A, finance and operations management, with a reputation for delivering in complex situations and turnarounds. He is a frequent contributor to local media and business events. Almir is also a co-founder of a number of successful business ventures including Olympia Capital Partners, a global advisory and investment banking firm.

Slavko  Andrejevic

Slavko Andrejevic

Managing Director, Financial Sponsors EMEA

Slavko Andrejevic is Managing Director responsible for Nomura’s relationship with some of the largest global private equity funds and pension funds.  He also leads the firm’sFrench Financial Sponsor coverage.He joined Nomura in 2018 with some 15-plusyears of industry experience. Previously, he was at Barclays, where he also covered large cap financial sponsors across EMEA as well as establishing and leading sponsor coverage in France.Before this he was in M&A at Rothschild in Paris and with Apax Partners in London. While at Apax, Mr Andrejevic looked after the fund’s tech and telecomsinvestments and also established its coverage of CEE and Turkey. 

Mr Andrejevic graduated from Middlebury College, USA, and the Paris Institute of Political Studies, Franceand he has an MBA from Harvard University, USA. 

Zsuzsanna  Hargitai

Zsuzsanna Hargitai

Director, Western Balkans

Zsuzsanna Hargitai is EBRD’s Director for the Western Balkans. Based in Belgrade, she also heads its operations in Serbia.

She joined the EBRD in 1992, and has worked in various positions, including as Country Manager in the Western Balkans, Hungary and Croatia. She has also been Director for Country Strategy and Results Management, and Director of EU Funds Co-Financing and Financial Instruments.

She has a Master’s degree in International Relations from Moscow State Institute of International Relations(MGIMO), Russia.

Dragica  Sekulic

Dragica Sekulic

Minister of Economy
Government of Montenegro

Dragica Sekulic has been Montenegro’s Minister of Economy since November 2016.

She has previously coordinated energy sector projects, and been Deputy Minister of Economy and an Advisor in the Ministry of Economy. She was a member of the Coordination Committee for the preparation of the Energy Development Strategy and a member of the expert team responsible for preparing the country’s Sustainable Development strategy as well as a member of the Renewable Energy Sources study team.

She was also Head of the Negotiating team for Chapter 15 – Energy.

She has a degree from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the University of Montenegro.

Linda  Van Gelder

Linda Van Gelder

Country Director, Western Balkans Region
World Bank

Linda Van Gelder has been the World Bank’s Regional Director for Western Balkans since July 2017. She is responsible for leading the dialogue on economic reform with the six countries of the Western Balkans, developing the World Bank’s country strategies, managing the World Bank portfolio, coordinating with partners, and engaging in outreach on economic growth and poverty reduction in the region.

Dr Van Gelder was previously the Director of Strategy and Operations for the Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Practice Group, covering macroeconomic and fiscal management, finance and markets, trade and competitiveness, poverty and equity, and governance global practices.

She joined the World Bank in 1994. Her regional and country work has included economic management, governance and poverty reduction. She has also held several corporate positions, including leading the development of World Bank Group strategy and as the Director for Operational Policy and Quality.

Dr Van Gelder has a PhD in Economics from Cornell University, USA.

Matteo  Rivellini

Matteo Rivellini

Head of Division, Western Balkans
European Investment Bank

Matteo Rivellini is Head of Division in charge of lending operations in Slovenia, Croatia and Western Balkans at the European Investment Bank (EIB). He is an experienced manager with expertise in infrastructure, migration, blended finance and development finance in the Western Balkans, Italy and Central Europe. Matteo has played a pivotal role in the rolling out of the Economic Resilience Initiative in the Western Balkans and the overall coordination of the operational response to the refugee crisis on behalf of the EIB. He was previously an advisor to the Italian Vice-President and a legal advisor on EIB operations in Italy and the Western Balkans. 

Before joining the EIB in 2003, Matteo worked for a law firm in Italy. He has a degree in International Law from the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. 

Marko  Čadež

Marko Čadež

President, Managing Board
Western Balkan 6 Chamber Investment Forum

Marko Čadež is President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS), President of the Managing Board of the Western Balkan 6 Chamber Investment Forum, a member of the Board of Eurochambres, and Chair of Eurochambres’ Digitalisation Committee. He has been CCIS President since December 2014 having previously been Vice President in charge of the chamber system modernisation and Director of the CCIS representative offices in Germany and Austria.

Mr Čadež is a member of the Economic Council of the Development Agency of Serbia and has also been President of the Managing Board of the Serbian Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA). He is an expert on Serbian-German relations and communications, and one of the founders and a member of the Managing Board of the Serbia-Germany Forum.

For almost a decade from 2003 until his employment with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, he was a Spokesman for the Embassy of Germany in Belgrade. He was also a Coordinator for Serbia and Montenegro for Deutsche Welle and a Programme Coordinator and Advisor for Political Issues and Communications with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Belgrade.

He graduated from the Academy for Marketing Communications Frankfurt in 2001.


FT Contributors (2)

Tony Barber

Tony Barber

European Affairs Columnist
Financial Times

Tony Barber is European Affairs Columnist at the Financial Times. He was previously Europe Editor and Associate Editor. He joined the newspaper in 1997 and served as bureau chief in Frankfurt (1998-2002), Rome (2002-2007) and Brussels (2007-2010).

Mr Barber started his career in 1981 at Reuters news agency, serving as a foreign correspondent in New York, Washington and Chicago (1982-83), Vienna (1983), Warsaw (1984-85), Moscow (1985-87), Washington (State Department correspondent, 1987-88) and Belgrade (bureau chief, 1989). He worked from 1990 to 1997 at The Independent in London, where he was successively East Europe Editor and Europe Editor.

Among the major world events on which Mr Barber has reported on the ground are the 1986 Chernobyl accident, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the fall of eastern European communism in 1989, the 1991-95 wars of the Yugoslav succession, the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005, the eurozone crisis and Catalonia’s 2017 secession crisis.

Mr Barber studied from 1978 to 1981 at St John’s College, Oxford University, where he received a BA First Class Honours degree in Modern History. 

Valerie Hopkins

Valerie Hopkins

South East Europe Correspondent
Financial Times


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In Association with (1)

The WB6 CIF is a joint initiative of chambers of commerce and industry from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, that established a platform of cooperation in 2017 with the aim to provide a joint voice to the business community in the region and to facilitate inter-business contacts and promote the region as one investment destination.

The WB6 CIF represents around 220,000 companies from the Western Balkans in its mission to open new opportunities for stronger networking, remove the remaining obstacles to the development of the regional economic cooperation and improve business and investment climate in the markets of the Western Balkans region.

WB6 CIF advocates for more economically integrated on the path of EU accession, through free movement of goods/services throughout the region to cut costs and make goods and services more competitive on the global market. It also actively promotes WB6region as a single investment destination.

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fDi Intelligence is the largest FDI centre of excellence globally. Specialising in all areas relating to foreign direct investment and investment promotion, the full suite of services includes: location advertising to generate brand awareness; industry-leading intelligence tools to develop FDI strategies and identify potential investors; and tailored FDI events and investor roundtables to meet target companies and generate business leads. Products within the portfolio include fDi Markets, a database tracking crossborder greenfield investment on a real-time basis; fDi Benchmark, a database which benchmarks global locations on their attractiveness to foreign investors; and fDi Magazine.

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