In the past two years, Diplomacy&Commerce magazine has given to its readers abundance of news from politics, business and culture, has reported on the opinions of relevant stakeholders both from Serbia and abroad, covering all segments of life, and opened up topics that were not written or talked about enough. With its latest issue, Diplomacy&Commerce is celebrating its second anniversary in Serbia. We are very proud of the fact that, in two years and 24 issues, we have managed to interview the leaders of the Serbian political, business and diplomatic community, as well as the renowned regional and the global public figures. In these past 24 issues, we have also published special supplements dedicated to overall relations between Serbia and European and world countries.
We have asked Serbian officials – Serbian PM, government ministers, ambassadors and representatives of business associations in Serbia – to give us their opinions about the most important changes that Serbia should make in order to become an EU member, and about the investment climate in the West Balkan region.
1 The most important thing for the Serbian economy as a whole and the companies individually is to improve their capacities for greater production and export, make more investments, carry out technological modernization, and become more productive and more competitive in order to be better equipped to deal with the competition at home but also in the EU, after Serbia’s accession. Opening of borders, free flow of goods and services, customs-free trade and no need for additional certificates will create more export opportunities for our companies, but also bring more competition to the domestic market. The faster we harmonize our regulation with the European one, successfully deal with the harmonization costs, adopt European values, standards and business models, and progress in the regional and European integration, the faster is our economy going to become more stable and more competitive, with greater chances for success in the new circumstances.
2 Yes, but as a single regional market with 18 million consumers and a unique investment destination. Global companies are less prone to viewing us as an individual player, but rather see us in the context of the region as a whole, and its capacity for doing business and investing. Only after analyzing the region, they decide which country to invest in. Hence, our online investment platform, as the first product that our regional chamber has created, represents the entire region and contains all relevant data on all six Western Balkan economies. If we want to become a more stimulating place for domestic companies and more attractive for foreign companies, and to eliminate the remaining barriers that stand in the way of more efficient business, more trade and investments, better links between businesses and infrastructure, and harmonization of regulations, procedures and practices, we have to bolster the rule of law and transparency.