Western Balkans Automotive Industry Conference: Sources of Competitiveness and Investment Opportunities


Skopje, 16-17 June 2010

Representatives of investment promotion agencies from the Western Balkans, representatives of automotive companies, cluster managers, local suppliers as well as the OECD and other international organisations met in Skopje on 16-17 June 2010 under the OECD Sector Competitiveness Project, co-financed by the European Union. The objective of the conference was two-fold:

  • Discuss strategies and tools to further develop the local supplier base and better promote investment in the automotive industry in the Western Balkans
  • Increase the awareness of existing strengths and capabilities of the regional automotive industry

The automotive sector in the Western Balkans can be attractive for foreign investors and customers alike. This is confirmed by the findings of the report Recommendation for a Regional Investment Strategy, which was the main outcome of the analysis phase of the project. The main strengths of the region are: Cost competitiveness, geographical proximity to markets, a strong historical legacy and availability of a skilled workforce. At the same time, the OECD found that there is an information gap between what part suppliers in the Western Balkans offer and what the OEMs and first tier suppliers are looking for. The most notable shortcomings identified in the area of quality, with most manufacturers lacking industry specific quality certification such as ISO/TS 16949.


The conclusions of the Investment Promotion Automotive Working Group that took place on 19 June 2009 in Belgrade highlighted that the current crisis represents an opportunity for the countries of the Western Balkans if they combine short-term actions with strategic measures.



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