Title: Assessing regional integration and business potential in the Western Balkans

Authors: Pantelis Sklias; Maria Tsampra

Addresses: Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Peloponnese, Dervenakion 47 and Adimantou, Korinthos 20100, Greece ' Department of Business Administration of Food and Agricultural Enterprises, University of Western Greece, Seferi 2, Agrinio 30100, Greece

Abstract: This paper extrapolates the patterns and volume of business development within the Western Balkans region. This is a war-torn area with social, cultural, religious and political specificities. Despite noticeable institutional and growth progress of the individual countries, regional business is still lagging as persistent state rigidities create trade distortions. We argue that intra-regional business clusters, embedded in a shared socio-cultural context, can be the alternative to underdevelopment. Political willingness is the prerequisite, as market forces in transitional areas seem to be of secondary importance to regional integration and business development. New analytical approaches are needed to capture the complex reality.

Keywords: regional integration; cross-border clusters; business clusters; transition economies; Western Balkans; business potential; business development; state rigidities; trade distortions; political willingness; regional integration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEBR.2013.054840

International Journal of Economics and Business Research, 2013 Vol.6 No.1, pp.28 - 51

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 09 Jun 2013 *

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