Last year, Serbia achieved impressive results in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and this can also be seen in the increase in trade with Germany.
That is why EBRD Director for the Western Balkans, Zsuzsanna Hargitai, spoke with the partners of the German Chamber about the institution’s plans and expectations for this year.
Last year, Serbia’s external trade with Germany amounted to a record EUR 5 billion euro with a total of 60,000 workers engaged.
“Last year was fantastic, but our expectations are high, especially in the private sector, because we know that Serbia can move faster and better to lead the region, but also to get closer to the countries of Eastern Europe and the European Union,” says Ronald Seeliger, director of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK).
The EBRD believes that the “Mini Schengen” initiative in the Balkans is positive and that this project alone can lead to a 1% increase in the national GDP.
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In an effort to protect the environment and reduce pollution in Serbia, the EBRD invested money in wind farms and the green economy last year.
“Also, a new law on public-private partnerships is being prepared with the Serbian government. This would allow better management and provision of services to citizens and businesses, particularly in utilities. We have done something similar in the case of Srbijavoz, while EPS is also engaged in this project,” said the EBRD Director for the Western Balkans.
Hargitai also said that 70% of the Bank’s money has been invested in the private sector and that the bank is ready to now start financing in dinars.
If public procurement were made more efficient and training and productivity of workers in Serbian companies is improved, Serbia could have double-digit annual growth, Hargitai concluded.
This post is also available in: Italiano