Serbia Assumes Presidency over CEFTA – Opportunity for Our Country to Prove Itself as Reliable Partner

Serbia has assumed one-year presidency over the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). In the next year, it will focus, among other things, on the consolidation and boosting of the implementation of the agreement, the facilitation of the trade of goods and services between the parties to the agreement and digitization.

For the Serbian economy, the CEFTA market is the second biggest partner when it comes to the volume of the trade, right behind the EU. In the first 11 months of 2023, Serbia’s trading with the CEFTA member-countries amounted to EUR 5.4 billion. The acting director of the CEFTA Secretariat, Danijela Gacevic, points out that the presiding over the CEFTA will be a good opportunity for Serbia to prove itself as a constructive and reliable partner. She adds that, in addition to presiding over a joint committee as the most important decision-making body, Serbia will also have the opportunity to head other subcommittees, that is, technical bodies, in which discussions important for certain aspects of the agreement will be had.

Gacevic says that the presidency is important from several aspects.

– First, the party that presides, in a way, runs the processes, has the ability to prepare the agenda, to have questions which are of importance at that moment on the agenda. Second, from the aspect of European and regional integration, the party gets the opportunity to show itself as a constructive and reliable partner which has adequate capacities to run regional processes. Finally, considering that a majority of the meetings will be held in Serbia in this case, the administration has the ability to show itself as a good host too – Gacevic said.

In addition to presiding over the joint committee, as the most important decision-making body within the agreement, Gacevic says that Serbia will also preside over the subcommittee for non-tariff measures, the subcommittee for the trade of services and the committee for trade facilities.

– The joint committee, then, is the most important decision-making body, whereas technical discussions, pertaining to certain aspects of the agreement, are had at other technical bodies – she adds.

Illustration (Photo: style-photography/

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