Investments and investors are absolutely the most important prereuquistes for economic progress and new jobs. It really doesn’t matter whether they are domestic or foreign, as long as their numbers continue to multiply. It wouldn’t be good to pit foreign against domestic investors on condition that the state treats them in the same manner and that they do all of the things they undertook to do.
„Foreign investors should be credited with everything good that has been done in creating new jobs. It is better to have someone transfer a portion of their profits abroad than not to have profits at all“, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said.
Director of the My Brands (Moji Brendovi) Company, Andrej Jovanović says that, after all, foreign investors have more privileges. „They also don’t want to invest in Serbia if they fail to find a good local partner“, Jovanović adds.
Economics Professor Ljubodrag Savić, PhD, says that there is a sort of ‘craziness’ when it comes to the attitude towards foreign investors and that this ‘craziness’ has ben nurtured. There is also a prejudice that our tycoons are worse than those cominig from abroad.
„Oftentimes, Serbs appreciate foreigners more than themselves. Concurrently, they view everything that comes from the West as much better than what they have here. On the other hand, the word ‘tycoon’ is a derogatory term in Serbia and it is used to describe the people who have generated a huge wealth in the last two decades, i.e. during the time of Serbia’s transition. Undoubtedly, there is a hatred towards such individuals because most people in Serbia are aware of the fact that the very few wealthy people here have accumulated their wealth in a legal and honest way. These are the two extremes which polarize our citizens“, Professor Savić explains.
According to him, the aforementioned ‘craziness’ towards foreigners is additionally exacerbated by the creators of the country’s economic policy through constantly underlining that we would be “hungry and thirsty” without foreign investors and that foreign investors are going to be the ones to regenerate Serbia.
On the other hand, it is completely natural to have people who want to invest take the place of those who are reluctant to, like the wealthy Serbs. Foreign investors use this vacuum, which was created by wealthy people not wanting to invest in production because most of them have generated their wealth from import, the speculations regarding the Dinar exchange rate, commerce and various services – Savić adds.
A good number of foreign companies pay minimum wage to their employees, with an occasional, rather slight increase, which, in a way, is the reason why Serbian workers are unsatisfied with foreign investors – Savić says. „True, no-one can live off such a small salary but if you look at it from an unemployed person’s point of view, who is struggling to find a job, he or she will be be happy to have at least some income. Still, the money that the state gives to foreign investors on the account of employment subsidies is the taxpayer’s money so it would be good if the workers would have at least a decent wage to live off“, Savić concludes.
This post is also available in: Italiano