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 intervju 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. What do you think are essentially the most important changes that Serbia should make in order to be ready for EU membership by 2025?
2. Do Serbia and the Western Balkans have enough capacity to attract large multi-nation companies to their markets?
1. Everything that Serbia needs to do to become a full-fledged member of the European Union by 2025 is contained within the European Commission’s Strategy, recently adopted by the European Parliament. The tasks that we have to do are not at all easy, starting with the issue of the relations with Kosovo and accepting the EU’s single foreign policy to the rule of law. Serbia is recognized in this document as a leader i the European integration process, and now everything rests only on us. The full-fledged EU membership continues to be Serbia’s vital interest.
2. All the countries in the Western Balkans, including Serbia as the biggest of them all, are considered small markets for large multinational companies. However, if everyone supported the idea that the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic had regarding establishing the Western Balkan customs union until we join the EU, than we would have a market of close to 20 million consumers that would be interesting to big stakholders in the global market. Although Serbia today has the biggest external trade in the region and prospers from that the most, we are still promoting this idea because it would facilitate progress in the entire region, not just in Serbia. We are not going to benefit if Serbia alone has healthy finances, foreign investments and is progressing when everybody around is at a standstill.