Stylianos Zakof, President of the Hellenic Business Association of Serbia: It is important to start the green transition

Stylianos Zakof, President of the Hellenic Business Association of Serbia

A strong economic recovery is underway, coupled with higher inflation. Forecasts say that Serbia will be among the fastest-growing economies in Europe this year as well. What is your opinion about the development of the Serbian economy and do you think that Serbia has already reached pre-pandemic GDP growth?

In 2021, Serbia experienced a strong economic recovery with a GDP growth estimated at 6.5 percent. The recovery was due to several important components, such as export production capacities stimulated by a new influx of foreign investments, but also by the fact that during most of the year, there were no significant restrictions related to the pandemic, which enabled uninterrupted business development. Forecasts show that the same trend will continue in 2022, while according to the IMF, Serbia’s GDP exceeded the pre-crisis level in the first quarter of 2021. At the same time, current global energy prices, as well as the global consequences of the pandemic-induced crisis, will have an impact on trends in all economies in the coming period.

Topics that will be in focus in 2022 are the green agenda, climate change, changing the way we work, and a new technological impact. What are Serbia’s capacities to deal with these issues and where is our place in Europe and the world in that context?

The government has demonstrated readiness to start the process of green transition, by adopting energy laws and the Law on Climate Change, which are the foundation for environmental protection and energy transition in the country. The opening of Cluster 4, the recently presented Green Agenda for Serbia, but also the fact that Serbia is a signatory to the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans confirms Serbia’s determination to implement projects geared towards improving the environment, but also the EU’s readiness to support it. Not only national and local authorities but also public and private companies, non-governmental organizations and Serbian citizens must be involved in initiating the green transition.

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