Opening of the Digital Summit Western Balkans

Prime Minister Ana Brnabić said at the opening of the Second Digital Summit of the Western Balkans that the government has set digitisation and education as their absolute priorities in order to take advantage of all the chances that are being offered to us today.

The digital summit is important for several reasons: political, social and economic.

Today, we send a message to the world to the world that, despite all the challenges and misunderstandings, we continue to work on regional networking, regional cooperation, implementation of previously agreed agreements and commitments, and opening new perspectives.

The political moment is certainly not the best for a regional summit and even less for the signing of new regional agreements.

But the future of the region, the future of young people living in this region depends on the fact that in such difficult and complex situations, we bring primarily a political decision that we will continue to build the stability of the region, and not further collapse.

That we will do our best to show our partners abroad that we are a stable and predictable partner, and to our citizens, that we are serious and responsible.

To young people, that this region has a different, better perspective.

To give them a signal that we are more responsible and that they should stay here and not look for our future somewhere else.

One of the things that will mark this Summit is signing the Regional Roaming Agreement.

This was a difficult decision for us at the time when Pristina imposes, for over four months now, 100% taxes on products from Central Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which are measures that do not correspond to the time in which we live and the spirit of cooperation that we are trying to promote, together with our partners, primarily from the EU, and which also represent a direct violation of the CEFTA agreement, which is the basis of all further regional relations and cooperation.

The Regional Roaming Agreement is not just a document that defines how telecom operators will behave in the region. This agreement is much more than that. From the corner of Serbia, he shows the map of the road that we need to follow: that is more cooperation and more agreement, more mutual understanding in the interests of all citizens living in this region.

Economically, this summit is important to show that our region follows the time and trends we live in.

To understand very well, we not only live in a time that dictates and defines digital technologies and digital literacy, but rather that we live in the time of another, 4th Industrial Revolution, in which the entire Western Balkans has the opportunity, if we are smart, to be reasonable and dedicated, we compensate for the missed and change our destiny.

Therefore, I am pleased that the Digital Summit of the Western Balkans gathered more than 4,000 accredited persons and 200 speakers in three stages this year and that this room is too small today for all who wanted to come.

We live in a time of great change. “Disruption” is the expression that best illustrates the 4th Industrial Revolution and digitisation.

We in the region have become accustomed to changes, disorder, frequent instability. And now it is time to use what we have been a defect for decades to be our greatest advantage: resourcefulness, creativity and the ability to quickly adapt to new situations and opportunities.

The government of Serbia has set digitisation and education as its absolute priorities in order to take advantage of all the opportunities that are being provided today.

We are working on education reform to enable our citizens to have the necessary knowledge and skills to participate equally with anyone in the world in the digital economy.

We are working on the digitisation of the public administration and the introduction of electronic administration because this is the best answer to have an efficient and transparent administration and the best tool for fighting corruption.

We are working on digitising the economy and creating a positive business environment in which companies from Serbia can equally compete with anyone in the world.

Our vision is that Serbia, with its knowledge and its creativity, wins the world market.

I know that during these two days we will exchange experience and knowledge in these areas, but I would be most happy if this summit, in addition to exchanging experiences in the field of digitisation and education and making contacts from which we will all benefit from tomorrow, was a call to rationality and pragmatism, in the interest of all our citizens.

Finally, I sincerely wish to thank our partners from the EU, and especially the people from the European Commission, above all Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and her team, on the effort, work, support and understanding, Brnabic concluded.