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Dinkic dreams of free trade zone

Serbia

Mladan Dinkic, Serbia's central bank governor, says it is time for the countries of former Yugoslavia and the Balkans to begin work on creating a Balkan free trade and custom zone and bury once and for all the painful memories of conflict.

Dinkic says the former combatants need to rebuild past relationships, especially Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia, which have all been excluded from the first and second wave of EU enlargement.

"My vision is a free trade agreement for the whole area but to do it we all need to have enough political will," he says. "I think we have it with the current generation of politicians and we could think in some foreseeable future of even a custom union including ex-Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Romania."

Dinkic is the 38-year-old leader and founder of the G-17 movement that ousted Slobodan Milosevic and probably the only central bank governor to have led his own rock band, Monetary Shock. He maintains that a good relationship between the countries of former Yugoslavia is not only critical for those involved but for the region as a whole.

"One has to remember that 50% of trade here was internal and while the old ways of course have disappeared, some of them have been re-established," he says.

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