Turkey calls for ‘economy for peace’ in western Balkans

Turkey calls for ‘economy for peace’ in western Balkans

SARAJEVO - Anadolu Agency
Turkey calls for ‘economy for peace’ in western Balkans

AA Photo

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan urged Western Balkan countries on May 13 to establish common economic goals for peace, prosperity and stability in the region.

Speaking at the sixth Sarajevo Business Forum in the Bosnian capital, Babacan said the economy was an important instrument for strengthening political relations and reconciliation in the region.

“It is very important for the region that we have free movement of people, goods and capital. When I look at the region we see that we have quite a fragmented economy. When we unite the region in order to avoid barriers to investment, then we can talk about the prosperity of the region,” he said. “It is very important to work on the joint construction of the region and to work together for its prosperity. How to do it? Through peace and stability. Anywhere in the world, political stability is the foundation of economic progress,” he added. 

He said dialogue and tolerance could promote political stability in the region.

“How to achieve political stability? Through democracy and dialogue of course, through conversation, tolerance and promoting reconciliation,” he said. 

“An essential element for progress in European structures is integration. As we look to the European Union, its founders were actually on opposite sides in World War II and then those countries united around a common thing, and that was the economy,” Babacan said. 

“The economy itself is an essential instrument for the political process and the process of reconciliation. We must do everything to improve the business environment of our countries to make this country so interesting for investment,” he added. 

“We accept the slogan of the forum; ‘One region, one economy.’ That’s my suggestion, that your leaders lead dialogue between the Bosnian and Serbian people, in order to make a favorable environment,” Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said.

He said that only a unified market in the region could attract more investors from countries around the world.

“Serbia is ready to talk about all the difficult topics with Bosniaks. We have to think about the common future of our countries. It is a fair offer, because we have to live together,” he noted. 

The Sarajevo Business Forum aims to bring direct foreign investments to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is seen as being crucial for peace and stability in the region.