Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), the world’s largest credit rating company, continues to rank Serbia in the group of countries with moderate business risk and a stable rating in the February 2018 report.
Serbia is ranked the same as Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Albania and Romania. Out of all regional countries, Slovenia is ranked the best (mild risk), while Bosnia and Herzegovina is given the ‘very high risk’ rating.
The rating assigned to a country points to the risk of doing business and it gives information on the efficiency of payments to foreign countries, as well as on the viability of potential investments, according to a report published by Bisnode, an exclusive representative of the Dun & Bradstreet in our country. And here’s what the report says:
The D&B report says that the value of foreign direct investments to Serbia in 2017 amounted to EUR 2.1 billion, making up around 40% of all direct foreign investments in the Western Balkans region.
“A strong growth of investments is a result of two main factors. The first one is the strengthening of the European economy, which has strengthened investors’ trust and initiated an expansion of investments on the periphery of the EU, especially in the production. The other reason are the efforts made in order to attract direct foreign investments through promotional activities, reforms of the commercial environment and investment packages adapted for big foreign companies”, says D&B.
D&B also acknowledges that Serbia’s public debt has been rapidly declining. From 74.7% of GDP in 2015, it fell to 63.6 % at the end of 2017, prompting Fitch to raise Serbia’s credit rating from BB- to BB. This is the result of two main factors. The first is the success of government austerity measures, which reduced the budget deficit from 6.3% of GDP in 2014 to just 0.2 % in 2016 and 2017. Another factor is the recent appreciation of the dinar, which reduced the country’s foreign currency debt (about 65 % of the total debt), expressed in dinars. With the decline in the debt and in the costs of debt servicing, the risk of a financial crisis at some future time is reduced, as is the residual threat to Serbia’s economic stability, the report adds.
The report also mentions the Serbian National Parliament adopting draft Law on Electronic Administration that will harmonize the domestic legislation with the EU’s.
The purpose of the law is to make interaction with the state more efficient and transparent, because companies have been spending exuberant amounts of time and money on paying taxes and obtaining licenses. This latest step is a part of the continuous effort of the authorities to improve the domestic business environment, which is reflected in Serbia’s position on the World Bank’s Doing Business list for 2018 – Serbia ranks 43th out of 191 countries in the world, up from 47th place the previous year and 91st place from three years ago.
(Blic, eKapija, 20.03.2018)
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