FIC Unveils White Book 2023 Highlighting Key Investment Challenges in Serbia

The Foreign Investors Council (FIC) recently presented the “White Book 2023” in a significant event attended by top government officials and stakeholders

Authored by FIC members, this publication, a cornerstone for over two decades, offers vital recommendations to boost Serbia’s economic growth and enhance its citizens’ living standards.

FIC President and Yettel CEO Mike Michel, along with other prominent figures like FIC Executive Director Aleksandar Ljubić, EU Delegation Head Emanuele Giaufret and, Minister of Mining and Energy, Dubravka Djedovic Handanović addressed the gathering. Michel underscored the challenges Serbia faces amid tough economic and geopolitical conditions in 2023. Despite these, FIC, representing 122 foreign companies with investments totalling 44 billion euros, remains committed to improving Serbia’s business climate. The White Book 2023, with its 397 recommendations across 58 articles, reflects this commitment, especially noting significant advancements in the energy sector.

The White Book 2023 lays out key investment challenges: Serbia’s EU integration, managing inflation and interest rates, tax burdens, and sustainable public debt. It emphasizes the need for alignment with EU standards, inflation control, fiscal optimization, and restructuring, particularly in the energy sector.

This edition also analyses priority areas like taxation, labour laws, digitalization, real estate, illicit trade prevention, environmental protection, and more. The FIC Index indicates noteworthy progress in energy, consumer protection, financial services user protection, foreign employment, and customs regulation, though the food and agriculture sector lagged behind.

A panel discussion with Serbian ministers highlighted strategies to improve Serbia’s business and investment environment. Embracing digitalization and environmental sustainability, the FIC has made the White Book available for free download, aligning with modern communication and eco-friendly practices.

Since its inception as a small association, the FIC has grown significantly. It now represents over 120 global companies, a substantial increase from its initial 14 members. These companies have collectively invested over 44 billion euros and employ more than 115,000 people in Serbia, a remarkable growth from 2003 figures. FIC remains dedicated to enhancing Serbia’s business climate through reform proposals, ethical business practices, and active engagement with the government and other stakeholders, positioning itself as a crucial player in Serbia’s economic landscape.

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