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Reform pace in Serbia maintained

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The President of the Executive Board of NALED, Dejan Đokić, said today that in 2022 the reform pace in Serbiawas maintained, and that out of 100 recommendations from the “Grey Book” for creating better business conditions, 12 initiatives were adopted last year, seven in full, and five partially, including the introduction of the eInvoice and eFiscalization system.

At the annual conference on the occasion of 15 years of the “Grey Book”, he said that out of a total of 320 initiatives proposed for a better business environment in Serbia, half were adopted and implemented.

He also reminded that “Siva knjiga” is the first publication that offers concrete solutions and clearly indicates what should be done by whom, who is responsible and gives clear guidelines when and how to achieve results most effectively.

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He also reminded that among the adopted initiatives from the “Grey Book” are the automatic verification of health records, electronic registration of companies in the APR, the abolition of numerous unnecessary procedures that stifled the economy, such as the work book, stamps, daily market payments.

He added that major reforms were implemented there, such as the introduction of electronic construction permits, changes in the cadastre that enabled the registration of real estate through a notary in five days, the introduction of eRecipe and electronic registration of seasonal workers in agriculture.

Minister of Finance Siniša Mali pointed out that his ministry did the most in 2022, fulfilling four recommendations in full and three in part, and in particular highlighted the success of eFiscalization and eInvoices.

He announced the continuation of reforms, among them the continuation of the reform in the Tax Administration.

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He also emphasized that in two years at the most, taxes in Serbia will be able to be paid through a mobile application.

The Minister of Information and Telecommunications, Mihailo Jovanović, reminded that, among other things, in the field of digitization, the state, with the support of NALED, introduced electronic building permits, a single electronic place for registration in the cadastre, a system of local tax administrations, electronic payments at public administration counters, and introduced the eInspector system.

“And no matter how far we have come in this process, it is only the tip of the digitalization iceberg,” he said.

He stated that in the future the focus will be on the Law on Electronic Communications, a set of media laws, and that work is already underway to further improve the law on foreigners and inspection supervision, the law on information security.

Minister for European Integration Tanja Miščević pointed out that Serbia must work on further reforms in the area of the rule of law and the fight against corruption in order to speed up that process.

Speaking about the 22 recommendations in the “Grey Book” labeled “EU recommendations”, she stated that an amendment to the Law on Public Procurement is being prepared, which will take into account the segment of green and social public procurement.

She also stated that eAgrar is helping local farmers at this stage, but they are also working on preparing for a better use of IPARD funds from EU funds.

The head of the Delegation of the European Commission in Serbia, Emanuele Giofre, said that NALED contributes to the economic and social development of Serbia as a partner of the Government of Serbia.

He pointed out that the “Grey Book” presents recommendations based on the experience of a large number of stakeholders who want a better investment environment, the fight against the gray economy and EU membership.

He also believes that NALED is one of the key initiators of positive changes in the business environment of Serbia, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.

“We are looking forward to the new law on small and medium-sized enterprises and improving the work of state-owned enterprises,” Giofre said.

He assessed that transparency has increased in the field of procurement, which, according to him, can speed up local development.

He added that equal treatment, fair competition and transparent procedures are necessary to strengthen the rule of law.

“Independence and the rule of law must be improved, the implementation of laws and the fight against corruption will increase the efficiency of the economy,” said Giofre.

The head of the EU delegation also reminded that around 200,000 people in Serbia work in European companies, most of the investments are from the EU, and that Serbia’s European path with EU investments has led to a better life in Serbia.

He emphasized that geopolitical changes due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are a new reality, so the process of Serbia joining the EU has become even more relevant.

He also pointed out that there is a great focus on Serbia and the Balkans, and that the economy can bring Serbia closer to the accession process.

“We continue to invest in Serbia, investing in Serbia is investing in the future of the EU,” he said, adding that Serbia can still count on the EU.

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