Out of 513 recommendations for improvement of the business environment in Serbia that the Foreign Investors Council wrote in its 2018 White Book, the Serbian government has met 41% of them over the past year.
According to the FIC, the greatest progress in Serbia has been made with the adoption of the Law on Notary Public, in oil and gas, tobacco and transport segments, as well as with the adoption of the Law on Fee for the Use of Public Property.
The vice president of the Foreign Investors Council in Serbia, Dejan Turk, told Tanjug that the government saw FIC as an important body for further improving the economy of the country.
In its new White Book (for 2019), which will be formally presented today, the FIC still insists on three very important areas where it is necessary to continue reforms in order to speed up the accession negotiations with the EU.
These are – the continuation of structural reforms and further fiscal consolidation, as well as the continuation of the privatisation of public enterprises and the corporatisation of state-owned enterprises, which are all essential.
In 2017, the Foreign Investors Council introduced the practice of classifying economic progress according to the FIC index. So far, according to these criteria, the State has implemented on average one third of the recommendations. This year, Turk points out, a total of 41% of the FIC recommendations have been met, which is a 7% increase.
“This means that significant progress has been made since the previous White Book,” says Turk, stressing the importance of working with the government and FIC members to implement the recommendations of foreign investors.
“Working with the state is important for foreign investors because their companies bring not only money and jobs, but also know-how and technology to the country, as well as ethics- and corporatism-based operations,” he added.
The position of foreign investors stated in the 2019 White Book is that the passed laws must be applied more significantly in practice, and above all, and this is important for companies, more so in the field of taxation and management of inspection services.
The FIC member companies, Turk recalls, have so far invested over 35 billion euro in Serbia and employ about 100,000 workers. The Serbian government formed a group in September this year to implement the White Book recommendations. The group is helmed by Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.