This time around we have also asked the representatives of the authorities, diplomatic corps, international institutions, business associations, media and many others to express their views on the possible re-arrangement of power in the world, the European and regional political scene, the influences on Serbia’s accession to the EU, economic development, investments in culture, and as an inevitable question this year, elections which are taking place in many countries, including Serbia. We talked to DANIJELA FIŠAKOV, President of the Slovenian Business Club
How important is it for companies gathered in business associations and chambers of commerce to work together to improve the business environment and what trends do you expect to see in 2020?
The accession chapters outline all the conditions that Serbia should meet before joining the EU. Of particular importance are those related to the rule of law, the eradication of corruption, the protection of the environment and the freedom of the media. However, the most important change is one that needs to happen in the minds of each individual, and it concerns the decision that Serbia should and must reach the EU values. EU membership should not be the ultimate goal, but merely a side stop on the path of progress and general well-being of Serbian citizens.
The year 2020 is an election year for most Western Balkan countries, including Serbia. How will this affect the development of the economy in the region?
Neither Serbia nor any Western Balkan country individually represents an impressive market on a global scale. However, if these countries are viewed as a single region then, judging by many factors, they can be a significant investment destination on the world and especially the European map. The population, the qualified workforce, the size, the natural resources and its geostrategic position already make this region very attractive to investors. Furthermore, each country strives to encourage foreign investors to invest in their respective economy by providing additional benefits. However, the administrative boundaries that divide this region are too pronounced. The regulation and rules of the game vary from country to country in many respects and make it an aggravating factor when it comes to large multinational companies deciding to invest more in their business in these areas. By establishing uniformed doing business rules that are familiar to the developed world and by softening the administrative borders, the Western Balkan region would significantly increase its potential and capacity and become even more appealing to global companies.