The 26th Kopaonik Business Forum at Grand Hotel was officially opened. Aleksandar Vlahovic, President of the Serbian Association of Economists and President of the Program Board of the Kopanik Business Forum, pointed out that Serbia has a great chance, within the framework of the fourth industrial revolution and digitalization, to achieve rapid growth, through new investments to further increase the technological level of the economy, thereby increasing additional value.
“We need a quality education system for this, we live in a knowledge-based economy, and the educational system is a key development factor for the state and society.” Serbia needs more significant progress in more efficient protection of property and contracts, financial discipline, equality of market participants. and in addition, the state should improve the quality of institutions, not only for institutions that regulate the market but also for those who guarantee legal security, protection of property rights, and rights of creditors, “Vlahovic said.
In the atmosphere of slowing down the world economy, growth in the Western Balkans region reached the projected level of 3.5 percent in the past period, thanks to the primarily acceleration of economic activity in Serbia, but in order to continue this positive trend in the coming years, a stronger growth of the Serbian economy and more investments – plants is another important message from Vlahovic from the official opening of the Kopaonik Business Forum.
At the opening of this year’s Forum, it was pointed out that the economic policy of the Government in the coming period must adhere to the trajectories which implies that growth is dominantly based on investment and exports, private consumption growth, while the growth of public current spending should be in line with the achieved economic growth.
At the opening of the 26th Kopaonik Business Forum, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Ana Brnabic said that the biggest task of the Serbian Government is to transform the economy so that it is based on innovations and knowledge so that Serbia can reach the more developed countries of Europe. Brnabic stressed that it was
our future, and this is currently the most important challenge, and if the government succeeds in this, it will leave generations of a healthy economic model that will bring robust growth year after year.
According to Brnabic, Serbia is now in a much better situation than a decade ago and that after severe fiscal consolidation measures macroeconomic stability has been achieved, and that Serbia has achieved the fourth consecutive year of stable public finances, and that in 2018 it will be finished with a surplus in the budget of 32.2 billion dinars, or 0.64 percent of GDP.
If Serbia has done enough to improve the business environment, it can be seen from the foreign direct investments that last year amounted to about 3.5 billion euros.
The economy is extremely important in the context of joining the European Union, the conclusion of the head of the European Union delegation, Sem Fabrici, at the last panel of the first day of the Forum called the Different EU – a different partnership. According to his assessment of the status of negotiations with the EU, Serbia is currently on the “right track”.
On the panel attended by the ambassadors of Romania, Germany and America in Serbia, he said that there was limited progress in the rule of law, and that this should focus on reforms in the field of justice, the fight against organized crime and corruption, human rights and freedom of the media.
“Economic growth and growth in Serbia are important in the context of EU accession.” Macroeconomic consolidation has been achieved. The numbers are good, the deficit is falling, employment is growing, there are still many reforms, in the state administration, in the fight against corruption, everything that is important for business environment and to place the economy on a sustainable basis, ” Sem Fabrici emphasized with the remark that the economy must continue to grow.