Inflation Could Be an Opportunity for Region’s Economic Development – Business Leaders Advise How to Make Smart Use of Global Crisis

Source: eKapija Thursday, 02.12.2021. 12:07
Illustration (Photo: Altmann)Illustration
The economic future of the region is very promising, and through a more intensive connecting we can also create for ourselves a big role in the European economy, it was said at the panel “A Regional View to the Economic Future”, within the CEO Summit conference.

– Inflation is a challenge, but also an opportunity. I believe that things are not as disastrous as we’re making them out to be. Individually, in the region, we are small markets, at the level of a statistical error, and that is the reason why, for example, Nelt went to Africa – said Nebojsa Saponjic, one of the founders and owners of Nelt Group.

The opinion that the inflation can also be an opportunity for the region is shared by Almir Jazvin, the CEO of Prevent Group from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

– Realistically, we have been living with inflation for a while now, but in the past six months, it’s been a global topic. The question is what lies ahead and how to use that. Objectively, the inflation in the region is creating opportunities – it will lead to an increase in the price of labor force, which will consequently lead to increased consumption. Perhaps, this way, the inflation will incite local investments. However, we still need to recognize this as an opportunity – Jazvin pointed out.

He also adds that, if the situation with the pandemic remains the way it is in the long term, large companies will change supply chains and points out that this process has already begun.

– Everything can be produced nearer. The furniture industry has moved from Asia to Europe. The same is happening with fashion. So, it’s not a question of whether it will happen. It is already happening. I believe that these changes are permanent and that, as a region, we can use this period to position ourselves well – Jazvin emphasizes.

The supply chains of Mercator did not “break” even in the first weeks of the pandemic and the lockdown, and the reason, according to Tomislav Cizmic, the chairman of the management of the Slovenian Mercator Group, is in the advantage of procurement from local suppliers.

– With our work so far, we have shown that our supply chains will not break even during the biggest crisis. In all markets, Mercator acts as a local trader. Also, a large part of our products is procured from local suppliers, and that’s where our advantage lies. We have shown by our own example that local and regional cooperation are what makes us strong – Cizmic said.

The owner of Nelt, who praised the Open Balkans initiative, also believes that the economic future of the region lies in cooperation.

– We have already started cooperating among ourselves in the region and without that cooperation we can’t do anything. Cooperation is the only future we have – Saponjic pointed out.

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