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Boosting competitiveness by combining active and systemic measures-Serbian economy minister

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Minister of Economy and Regional Development Nebojsa Ciric stated yesterday that exports in the first two months of 2011 exceeded last year’s figure for the same period by 36%, reiterating that better competitiveness and higher export are among the government’s priorities.

Addressing the “Competitiveness is the Name of the Game” conference at the National Bank of Serbia, Ciric stressed that higher export can be achieved by combining active measures in agreement with the economic sector, solving non-liquidity issues and increasing competitiveness of Serbian companies.

Competitiveness can be boosted only through systemic measures, by eliminating corruption, cutting down administrative obstacles and adopting new legal solutions, he observed.

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Ciric recalled that export growth in 2010 stood at 25%, adding that this year’s export increase affirms that Serbia is on the right path to improving and increasing its export.

Minister of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning Oliver Dulic stressed that investments of more than €500 million are expected for the construction of housing and other facilities of social importance in 2011.

For the first time in two years, Serbia’s construction sector recorded a growth third month in a row, the Minister stressed, explaining that January and February marked a growth of 0.2% to 0.3%, which signals stable increase.

He voiced an expectation that thanks to large building projects, realised primarily through state investments, this year will see the recovery of the domestic construction sector, an increase in its share in GNP and new in this sector.

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The speed of issuing construction permits is hampered by inadequate planning documents of individual municipalities, he observed, adding that this cannot be fixed overnight, as planning documents had been neglected for decades.

The Minister said that for large infrastructure projects, such as Corridor 10, which will not be completed before the end of this government’s mandate, all financial issues will be resolved, from public procurements to land expropriation.

Dulic announced that the motorway section from Horgos to Novi Sad will most likely be opened by 15 July, while the goal is to have a fully profiled motorway from Horgos to Belgrade by the end of the year.

Once it completes the construction of low-cost flats, the state will turn its focus of social housing, the Minister outlined, adding that as far as the construction sector is concerned, the economic crisis is over, thanks to state incentives.


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