Serbia has achieved a stable and moderate progress in reforms, which is not enough for creating a sustainable and competitive business climate, a strong economy and a high standard of living – this is one of the conclusions from the annual White Book, published by Foreign Investors Council (FIC) in Serbia.
The Foreign Investors Council presented yesterday the White Book 2018 to the highest Government officials and stakeholders. According to the Book, the top four best performing segments remain the same as last year, namely, construction land and development, protection of users of financial services, transport and tobacco industry regulations.
In her welcome speech, FIC President Yana Mikhailova noted that in-between two White Books Serbia continued with the steady but moderate progress in reforms.
“After the positive trends we recorded last year, we expect Serbia to continue with a healthy growth,” Mikhailova said.
Serbia, she said, is well positioned as an attractive destination for investments, as confirmed by the fact that it attracts new investments, including a large share of investors from the region, each year. The FIC, she added, has noticed Serbia’s moderate progress, which has remained roughly at the same level as last year, with 33% of the last year’s recommendations fulfilled, whereas this year, 34% of the recommendations were met.
“The result remains the same as last year”, Mikhailova said.
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She did say, however, that the goals had been set higher and that the fulfilment of 50% of the recommendations from the White Book had been expected.
“The three key expectations that the FIC has from the Government are achieving sustainable fiscal consolidation, continuing with the structural reforms, improving law implementation, especially in tax area, strengthening tax administration and providing more transparency in public consultations”, Mikhailova says.
She pointed out that the FIC would continue to be the support and the driving force behind the Serbian economy.
“We will continue implementing new technologies, investing in human resources and including local enterprises in value-chains. We are dedicated to a long-term growth of the Serbian economy”, she underlined.
She also said that the White Book gave concrete recommendations for the improvement of the business climate and that a large number of companies had taken part in the preparation of the report.
Mikhailova added that the FIC would continue being a good and reliable partner of the government in boosting the Serbian economy, but added that the Task Force had not achieved the desired goals.
“We are in dialogue with our partner, the government, and we have decided together to reactivate the Task Force”, Mikhailova says.
Best performing segments – same as last year
The annual White Book covers 67 segments, with the top three, best-performing segments being identical to last year’s.
The first place is occupied by building land and construction, the second position belongs to the protection of the users of financial services, while the transport segment is in the third place.
Of the eight priority areas, only two have recorded – real estate/construction and inspection oversight.
Digitization, bankruptcy and foreign exchange regulations have recorded moderate progress, while areas such as taxes, labour law and food security did not record any progress.
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