This time around we have also asked the representatives of the authorities, diplomatic corps, international institutions, business associations, media and many others to express their views on the possible re-arrangement of power in the world, the European and regional political scene, the influences on Serbia’s accession to the EU, economic development, investments in culture, and as an inevitable question this year, elections which are taking place in many countries, including Serbia. We talked to YANA MIKHAILOVA, FIC President

How important is it for companies gathered in business associations and chambers of commerce to work together to improve the business environment and what trends do you expect to see in 2020?

The membership in business associations is very important, especially in those such as it is FIC, that has a long-term presence and tradition in Serbia. For the companies – foreign investors that for the first time enter the Serbian market, such context is already stressful and it is easier for them to become a member of the big family of foreign investors that can assist them and provide valuable advice from doing business here. In a later stage, associations are also of key importance to investors as they represent an integral part of two-way communication between the state and private sector, to improve the business climate and secure much-needed predictability. In term of economic trends, we expect that the growth rate remains at least on the level already achieved last year that is minimum 4%, and that it remains stable.

The year 2020 is an election year for most Western Balkan countries, including Serbia. How will this affect the development of the economy in the region?

Although elections are a natural thing in a democratic society, it is a well-known fact that they cause a slow-down in reforms, but this is just a short-term effect. We expect and hope that the Government will be swiftly formed after the electio and that it will perpetuate the successful dialogue with FIC that the current Government already had. On the other hand, we expect that elections for most Western Balkan countries will not impact the regional cooperation and development of the regional economy much, mostly because the continuous economic development, cooperation and stability are of key importance to all players on the regional markets.

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