IKEA returned state aid to Serbia, they achieved good results even in times of crisis

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Today, the Minister of Finance of Serbia, Sinisa Mali, held a video meeting with the regional director of IKEA for Southeast Europe, Sara Del Fabro, and with the director of the IKEA department store, Strahinja Urosevic, regarding the company’s decision to return the amount of 125,000 euros of state support.
On that occasion, Minister Mali pointed out that this is a rare, but socially responsible move.
“Representatives of IKEA pointed out that their results are much better than they expected and returned the money received to the state budget. This shows that the economic measures of the state were good, jobs were saved, demand was saved, and consumption is growing. That is exactly why they do not need this money, so they showed great responsibility towards the state and returned the paid amount of 125,000 euros,” said Minister Mali.
According to him, companies like IKEA put people and their needs in the center of attention, and it is not surprising that, precisely because of such a business model, it is gaining the trust of customers around the world.
“Exactly because of that, this company, even now in the conditions of crisis, knows how to find its way to the market and its consumers. The whole world trade, as well as large trade chains, are certainly facing new challenges. Online shopping and contactless sales are one of the ways to bridge the gap between customers, but I am sure that there will be other more innovative solutions, because the ability of the economy to quickly adapt to new circumstances is a historically confirmed fact,” he said.
In a letter sent to Minister Mali, IKEA states in its explanation that they made the decision to return “the support that the Government of Serbia generously provided to us in order to contribute to the preservation of the salaries of our employees.”
“Although we continue to face numerous challenges, now and in the future, at this moment we are aware that there are other parts of society that are prevented by this type of assistance. We want these funds to be used with the best interest of our country in mind, during the coming months when our economy will need it the most.” This is a decision we have made in every country where similar support has been received in the past few weeks, and we want to stay true to our vision of creating a better everyday life for many people,” the letter reads.
The Minister also thanked the representatives of the company IKEA for the exchange of opinions on how to best support the further stabilization of the economy and provide the possibility of greater employment in Serbia.
The most famous Swedish furniture manufacturer Ikea opened the first department store in Serbia and the 400th store of that company in the world in August 2017, and Sinisa Mali, who was then the mayor of Belgrade, actively participated in bringing this company to Belgrade.
In addition to Ikea, there are several other companies that have returned state aid under the Regulation on Fiscal Benefits and Direct Benefits to Business Entities in the Private Sector and Financial Assistance to Citizens in order to mitigate the economic consequences of COVID-19 disease, in the total amount of 1,2 million euros, Alo reports.

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