A Memorandum of Understanding, stipulating implementation of the Serbian-German Programme for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment, was signed in Belgrade.
This programme stipulates allocation of at least EUR 12.9 million in grants as the assistance in establishment of 1,500 companies.
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The memorandum, based on which Germany will provide support to the development of small and medium enterprises in Serbia, was signed by the director of the government’s Office for Public Investment Management, Marko Blagojevic, and the director of the German development bank, KfW in Serbia, Arne Goos.
The signing, at the premises of the Serbian government, was attended by the Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic and the German Ambassador to Serbia, Axel Dittmann.
“This is an important programme, developed through the close cooperation between Serbia and Germany. This is a part of the Germany-Serbia initiative which aim is to faciliate the constant growth of employment in Serbia”, Dittmann said.
Brnabic said that the state was very willing to support entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises, and create an environment that would provide more incentives for company establishment, so that people would create jobs and future for themselves.
She pointed out that two important problems were a cause for an insufficient number of enterprises – an inadequate availability of financing resources and the risk of failure, even in cases where there were available financing resources. The PM said that resolving those problems was exactly what the Germany-Serbia Initiative would do.
“On one hand, we have good and accessible financing resources, secured by commercial banks which will partner with the state and KfW, almost risk-free, as the state will take almost all the risk on itself by creating guarantee facilities”, Brnabic pointed out.
She went on to say that the programme would cover a very wide range of business activities – from trade, services and production activities to agriculture. The programme will be implemented by the Office for Public Investment Management and the Ministry of Economy.
Brnabic invited commercial banks to partner with the state, in an effort to secure form a more dynamic economic sector, contribute to the economic growth and the creation of new jobs.
“I hope that this will be an incentive and a signal that the government is taking care of micro, small and medium enterprises”, Brnabic said and thanked Germany for its help and support.
Ambassador Dittmann pointed out that banks would get a guarantee framework for the provision of loans to companies, whereas companies would get help in the form of training and additional support.
“Good ideas are not enough, they must be realized as well. There are good businesses, but you can’t enter the market without money”, Dittmann said.
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