The Balkan E-commerce Alliance was established

The Balkan E-commerce Alliance was established


The e-commerce associations of North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania have signed a Memorandum for the establishment of the Balkan e-commerce Alliance - BECA, which will advocate for the facilitation and promotion of regional e-commerce. The formation of the BECA was supported by the Open Regional Fund for Southeast Europe - Foreign Trade, supported by the EU and German Government and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, in whose offices the memorandum was signed.

The five E-commerce Associations from the Balkans, signatories to the memorandum are founders and members of the Management Board of the Balkan E-commerce Alliance, namely the E-commerce Association in Serbia - Ivan Tanasković, the Albanian E-commerce Association - Valer Pinderi, the E-commerce Association from Bosnia and Herzegovina - Orhan Gazibegović, the Association for Internet Trade "eComm" from Bosnia and Herzegovina - Alma Ahmić and the Macedonian E-commerce Association - Nina Angelovska Stankov.

The Alliance consists of the following governing bodies - the Assembly, Management Board, President of the Management Board and the Assembly, main coordinator, and national coordinators for each country. The President of the Macedonian E-Commerce Association, Nina Angelovska Stankov, was voted the first President of the Balkan E-Commerce Alliance. Angelovska together with the Macedonian E-commerce Association’s team as the first president will lead the work in the first year. The Macedonian E-commerce Association is also the first association formed in the region, with the greatest experience and readiness, and the choice of Angelovska was supported by all Associations.

- "E-commerce as an integral part of the digital economy can play a significant role in the economic growth of the region. All countries are fragmented and small markets by themselves, and to unlock their potential, we need to be able to see all countries as one integrated market. Among the main challenges are expensive cross-border shipping, customs fees and procedures, administrative difficulties, and non-unified rules and regulations. Efforts have been made to move it for a long time, but progress is very slow. In general, all the countries of the region are ranked lowest compared to European countries when it comes to e-commerce. Only with a holistic approach and united forces can we make progress. I believe that the Balkan E-commerce Alliance can play a significant role in paving the way to a better future for the development of e-commerce in the Balkans and I believe that in a very short time, it will become recognized as the "voice of e-commerce" in the Balkans. It will be a pleasure for me to lead the Alliance at the very beginnings in laying the foundations for prosperous work, and I am grateful for the trust," said Dr. Nina Angelovska, the President of AETM and BECA.

BECA's activities will be aimed at creating a better future for cross-border e-commerce in the Balkans, through creating e-commerce-related policies and lobbying for change, but also addressing various challenges from the e-commerce chain. This includes addressing issues related to customs fees, administrative hurdles, common shipping strategies, regulatory frameworks, and more. The Alliance will also serve as a basis for sharing information, knowledge, opinions, and practices between members.

The founding associations have already established excellent cooperation, and by unifying through BECA, they expect that only with joint forces can progress and the growth of regional e-commerce be achieved. One of the most promising initiatives for regional e-commerce is platform (resource and information center for running e-commerce businesses in CEFTA), which was launched as a part of the GIZ project and implemented by the Macedonian E-commerce Association, in cooperation with all e-commerce associations from CEFTA. Within the framework of this project, a module was developed for the first Regional Trustmark Badge in e-commerce, which will continue to be developed within the framework of the Balkan e-commerce Alliance.

"The formation of the Balkan eCommerce Alliance addresses the pressing requirement for a unified representation of the digital commerce sector in the Balkan region. Through its member associations, the alliance represents the needs of approximately 450 companies and will aim to harness trade potential within the CEFTA region and the EU. It also seeks to promote business networking, facilitate knowledge sharing, and advocate for a business-friendly ecosystem at both the national and regional levels.” - said Florian Brütting, Head of Component eCommerce at the Open Regional Fund for Southeast Europe - Foreign Trade.

By the way, until now, there was no regional body in the Balkans whose domain is precisely cross-border e-commerce and its development, and in the future, the Balkan E-commerce Alliance will be open to members from other Balkan countries and the region.

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