The EBRD Director for Serbia Daniel Berg said that the bank and the Government of Serbia would focus on small companies in the period ahead.
He stated that the president of EBRD, Suma Chakrabarti, and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic had agreed at the meeting that small business should be in focus, “which is also in line with the government’s strategy to promote new jobs and growth by developing small companies, but also with the bank’s strategy of supporting the sector”.
Berg added that there had also been talk at the meeting about stepping up the counseling and crediting program, the energy efficiency line, support to female entrepreneurship, competitiveness, and that it should be done in cooperation with the government and donors.
He also said that the EBRD supported around 100 companies a year through technical aid, co-financing etc.
Bojana Vukosavljevic, the principal manager of the bank’s Small Enterprise Council program, explains that the program is financed by donors as part of the EBRD’s non-profit operations.
– Since 2001, when we started operating in Serbia, we have donated EUR 18.5 million of aid to enterprises. What we’re trying to achieve through this program is to improve the sector of small and medium companies and raise it to another level, so as to encourage companies to invest in their operations and to improve and strengthen their internal operations before making an investment – she explained.
Programs relating to strategy, marketing, improving the quality system, human resources, everything that an SME needs to go forward and become stronger, must be supported by the EBRD, as she said. – The aid is provided by local or foreign advisors. It all depends on the size and the needs of the company – Vukosavljevic said.
The delegation of the EBRD took a tour of the company Artinvest on Thursday, September 1. The company has dealt in distribution of processed materials for the production of furniture and equipping facilities for 22 years.
The owner of Stara Pazova-based Artinvest, Milan Habek, said that they had started cooperating with the EBRD two years before.
– I can recommend to others to cooperate with the EBRD. They’ve enabled us to be where we are now – he said.
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