Minister of Economy and Regional Development Nebojsa Ciric said yesterday that it is necessary that the Serbian economy achieves an annual 4% GDP growth so that the economy could function without deficit.
In a conference “Serbia on the path to European standards of business”, Ciric pointed out that it is possible to achieve this through the process of reindustrialisation and export-oriented production.
He said that Serbia’s business environment is more attractive than in countries in the region, but also than in some new EU member states due to various incentives to investors, productive and cheap workforce and good infrastructure around Corridor 10.
The most productive investments in Serbia are export-oriented, and previous investments are already yielding positive results.
The effects of our joining the EU are now very positive, said Ciric and recalled that the Interim Trade Agreement with the EU, which has been implemented for three years, has continued to bring export growth.
In 2010 we had a 32.5% increase in exports and 8.2% in imports, which is an indicator of other systemic changes that are happening in our economy, said the Minister.
Accession to the EU essentially brings the new rules of behaviour, a change in the way in which the state must be responsible and communicate with citizens and businesses, he said.
Ciric said that there are positive steps to improve the business climate in Serbia, but a lot more needs to be done, noting that it is necessary to improve the efficiency of the state in terms of payment.
President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS) Milos Bugarin said that export growth in the past year and this year has marked a positive trend in the Serbian economy, and pointed out that we need to work on the reform of regulations, promoting the rule of law and building effective institutions.
He said that exports to the EU have upped by one-third, adding that more and more producers of milk and meat are exporting to the EU market.
President of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) Kjell-Morten Johnsen said that Serbia has a lot of leeway to improve its economic environment, adding that there is a lot more work to do and that there are a lot of fees that should be abolished.
(Government of Serbia)