YANA MIKHAILOVA, President of the Foreign Investors Council: IMPLEMENTING NEW REGULATIONS

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 interview 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 FIC advocates Serbia’s economic integration into the EU, as it brings predictability and transparency to businesses, as well increases the competitiveness of the Serbian market. In order to be ready for the EU accession, Serbia needs to conduct comprehensive reforms, in addition to raising administrative capacity to implement new regulations which is one of the key problems in Serbia today. Moreover, opening of concrete negotiation chapters should be accompanied by the acceleration of reforms in the areas which are being negotiated. Serbia will have to fulfill the two main economic criteria – it has to become a functioning market economy, and it has to have the capacity to cope with competition and market forces within the EU.

2 In the last decade, Serbia and the Western Balkans have been successful in attracting investments of large multinational companies. The foreign investors’ growing interest for Serbia is supported by the country’s economic stability as investors are looking for opportunities to sustainably develop business both short- and long-term. However, the projected GDP growth in Serbia remains low and in that sense. The Foreign Investors Council advocates instigating the stronger economic growth and sustainable fiscal consolidation in the country, improving implementation of law, continuing with the business environment reforms and efficient compliance with the EU regulation. Growing FDIs will be a good indicator of Serbia’s increasing competitiveness. The improved business environment will generate benefits for everybody – the state, the existing and future investors, and above all, the Serbian citizens.

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