TIRANA, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Albania has taken the lead of Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) with the aim of promoting regional development and the European integration process in western Balkans, the Ministry of Finance and Economy said in a statement on Thursday.
The Ministry of Finance and Economy together with the Albanian Mission in the European Union (EU) organized an opening meeting of CEFTA presidency, with the participation of representatives from the European Commission and other partners of the region.
In her opening speech, Albanian ambassador to the EU Suela Janina considered the CEFTA Agreement as one of the cornerstones of the regional economic zone and the European integration process.
"Albania is permanently involved in boosting economic cooperation," said Janina.
In her remarks, the Director at the General Directorate for Enlargement in the European Commission, Myriam Ferran underlined that the Regional Economic Zone remains the most secure platform for the region's integration process and further economic development.
Meanwhile, the Albanian Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy, Albana Shkurta, presented the priorities of Albania's presidency, highlighting the important role of the Free Trade Areas, Free Trade of Goods and Services and the Free Movement of Investment for the economies of the CEFTA parties.
CEFTA main objective is to promote trade in goods and services and facilitate investments in the region by providing a platform for eliminating barriers to trade.
On Jan. 1 this year Albania took over the chairmanship of CEFTA structures.