Renewables: business in the Balkans with the European Cooperation
24 April 2015

Small and medium Adriatic enterprises, engaged in the sectors of energy saving and renewable energy (RES and RUE), meet and set up a system which is leading to a new path of internationalization. The opportunity arises in Serbia, on the occasion of the “RENEXPO® Western Balkans” Fair of Belgrade, during the business meeting opened with the ALTERENERGY Strategic Project – funded within the IPA Adriatic Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013.

More than 40 joint business bilateral tables between enterprises and investors for a total of about 200 BtoB, with the involvement of 60 PMIs from Italy, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia: “The initiative is unprecedented and provides for the definition of a real chain of small and medium sector firms in the Adriatic, with tangible economic and employment benefits – says Bernardo Notarangelo, Director of Mediterranean Department – Puglia Region – ITALY (ALTERENERGY lead partner) – A strategic project funded by the Territorial Cooperation, another important piece to the great mosaic for the construction of the new Europe: the aim is to strengthen the activated relations and develop new ones, in line with the 20-20-20 objectives of sustainability”.

“Improving the knowledge of the territories and the potential of the market – stressed Milos Banjac, representing the Ministry of Energy and Mining of Serbia (project partner) – allows tracing the foundation for broad prospects, particularly significant for the whole Balkan area and the process of Serbia’s accession to the European Union. Marco Leone, Director of the Economic-Commercial Office of the Italian Embassy in Belgrade, Artan Leskovicu of the Albanian Agency for natural resources and Ana Rakic of UniCredit Bank Serbia seem to be on the same page. “The enterprises beyond the Adriatic, in fact, seek loudly support in favour of the economic system in the field of sustainable energy – added Giovanni Mafodda, Director of the Institute for Foreign Trade in Belgrade – and already see in the ALTERENERGY Project the springboard for a managerial and productive growth”.

Investment opportunities, collaborations and technology transfer: these are the actions provided aside the Business to Business meetings held in the “Renexpo Fair”, all planned in consultation with the Chamber of Commerce of Bari and the Internationalization Department of Puglia Region, in collaboration with the Serbian Ministry of Energy and Mining. “The networking built since 2011 with ALTERENERGY testifies today’s innovative approach designed for the activation of an Adriatic Community of renewable energies – said Claudio Polignano, project coordinator for Puglia Region – not only to encourage the production context towards new challenges in renewable energy and energy efficiency. This is a test case, in view of additional opportunities offered by the new 2014-20 European programming on the subject of territorial cooperation”.

The experimental nature adopted by the Strategic Project Partnership looks ahead, then, and already provides an interesting scenario of the energy market in the Adriatic area. That’s why the session of BtoB open in Belgrade did not leave out the deepening of reference contexts at the country partners’ level, particularly in Albania, Serbia and Slovenia.

But the business and investment support does not end here. The more than 100 companies selected by the ALTERENERGY partnership will meet again in late June 2015, this time in Apulia and in an increasingly innovative context for the exchange of best practices. Meanwhile, in order to facilitate the access to new markets of energy efficiency and increase competitiveness, the Mediterranean Department of the Puglia Region already offers two tools: “ALTERENERGY Small and Medium Enterprises Catalogue” and a business scouting service.