European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Regional Director Zuzana Hargitai said state-owned enterprise reforms, support for capital markets development and a green agenda in Serbia are EBRD priorities in 2020.
“At the request of the Serbian Government, in cooperation with the IMF, we will support the preparation of a state ownership policy document to define what the state wants to achieve when it owns public enterprises”, Hargitai said at a gathering of members of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce.
She assessed that the law on public companies should be changed in order to improve corporate governance, and that these companies should be able to provide better services.
Hargitai pointed out that 2019 was a fantastic year for the EBRD in Serbia, with 516 million euros in loans and 75 percent of investments in the private sector, adding that the bank always listens to what private sector partners say and receives information on the reforms to be implemented.
“When financing directly, there is always a financing plus model, an added value”, she said.
Hargitai points out that the EBRD is already working on corporate governance enhancement programs at Srbijavoz, while in EPS it has started implementing such a program specific to that public company.
“We think the Serbian government is ready for reform steps and better governance in state-owned and utility companies”, Hargitai said.
The EBRD generated 40 percent of last year’s financing in Serbia through commercial bank channels.
German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO of Hemofarm Ronald Zeliger said German companies in Serbia employ 60,000 workers and said the Serbian economy deserves a boost and assistance for further development.
“Trade between Germany and Serbia increased again last year and we crossed five billion euros. I think the miracle has happened, and the prospects are endless, the exchange is increasing every year”, Zeliger said.
He estimated that 2020 would bring great results in economic cooperation, Beta reports.