Serbian economic ambassadors with the task to attract foreign investors come to Serbia and promote export of domestic goods abroad have been on this duty for a year already.
Their salaries and other related costs amounted last year to EUR one million. Although authorities claim that economic advisors have made enviable results, it is not clear what investors precisely they persuaded to invest in Serbia.
To our question what the task of economic advisors actually is, we got the following reply from the Ministry of Economy: ‘They have very concrete tasks.
They have to provide quality information which makes possible creation of a strategy of Serbia towards a concrete market. Thus in the West European countries they mainly dealt with presentations for potential investors, participation in important fairs and making important new contacts. As regards other markets a lot of effort has been made on putting Serbia in the map of interest and changing of generally negative image of Serbia’.
At the Agency for foreign investments and promotion of export (SIEPA) which also cooperates with economic advisors we were told that they are in every day contact with our economic diplomats, but that it is still too early to say if somebody has merits for coming of foreign investors.
Danilo Sukovic, associate of the Economic Institute says for ‘Blic’ that ‘there are only tricks for employing party staff and giving them good salaries’
‘At the time of the Internet and technology when embassies worldwide are being closed we are sending economic ambassadors abroad with the task to attract foreign investors. What we should do is to create an ambient here that they want to come to Serbia. On the other hand the effects of their work simply cannot be measured because that is an elusive category’, Sukovic says.