AmCham says that the best reforms carried out in Serbia this year relate to budget deficit, reducing red tape in issuing building permits and labour legislation, while the most unsuccessful reforms were those in public enterprises, abolition of parafiscal fees, insufficient reform in the healthcare system and public procurement.
At the conference titled “Fifth Lap Time – Reforms in Fifth Gear”, the American-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) also gave bad marks to the education reform, while 2/3 of the companies surveyed by the Chamber graded the business climate in Serbia with a “C-”.
Hungary, Romania and Slovenia were named as far better investment locations than Serbia, while Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia were said to be worse investment locations than Serbia.
“The biggest challenges next year will be to increase the efficiency of judiciary and tax system, fighting corruption and shadow economy, and dealing with public enterprises, which remain one of Serbia’s acute illnesses”, the Chairman of AmCham’s Managing Board, Zoran Petrovic said.
The AmCham’s survey has also shown that large companies still see lack of predictability, implementation of regulation and unfair competition as their biggest challenges in Serbia, while small and micro companies state difficulties with acquiring additional funds, and a lack of financial discipline in settlement of invoices as their main problems.
All companies that are members of the AmCham have participated in the survey. The Chamber currently has 200 company members that employ over 100,000 people in Serbia, and have the cumulative annual revenue of 9.2 billion EUR.
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