The Office for European Affairs at the Chatham House Annual Conference

The Annual Members’ Conference of Chatham House, the home of the British Royal Institute of International Affairs, is being held in London and it is dedicated to the current financial challenges in economic markets. Membership at Chatham House, which member is also the Office for European Affairs, brings together hundreds of largest private companies in the areas of finance, industry, telecommunication, energy, as well as a number of governmental institutions from all over the world. “Some of the largest world economies, including European ones, have already been affected by recession. The world is facing serious financial challenges, which have started from the banking sector like an avalanche, and are now spreading to other industries and other parts of economy on the principle of connected containers. We will not be excluded from that. That is one of the main reasons why relevant institutions in the country have to make strategic plans how to cope with the wave ahead of us, how to protect our economy, maintain employment and attract new investment. If we talk about the Province, I believe that it is clear to everyone that the decisions made by the Executive Council with reference to the establishment of its development institutions, including the Capital Investment Fund, Development Fund, Vojvodina Investment Promotion, Office for European Affairs and others, have been the right ones. Such institutions become key development instruments in situations like these. The pendulum in the world financial markets is moving towards more regulations and a greater state role in maintaining the financial system and providing support to the private sector. What was unimaginable in some western countries only a year ago, for the state to become practically the owner of private banks and other financial institutions, has now become reality. It is also certain that some of the most economically powerful countries will directly support their industries, which have been jeopardised, in order to maintain employment and a stable economic system. It is one of the main conclusions of the conference, which is being held in London these days. The state has to act decisively at times of economic challenges. It is necessary to provide support to the economy and start with infrastructure work, so that workplaces could be maintained. We have to fight for new investment in international markets and for that reason, Vojvodina invests into our presentation and presence in London, moreover in Brussels, Paris, Rome and other places. It cannot be expected that investment and IPA funds will come by themselves. Therefore, we need regional and international partners and new projects by means of which we will attract funds, create and maintain the position which will protect us from the financial globalization storms and modern intertwined and interdependent world”, said Predrag Novikov, Director of the Office for European Affairs.