Satisfaction with the business environment in Serbia has recorded a continuous slight increase since 2016

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The majority of member companies of the American Chamber of Commerce, i.e. 86 percent of them believe that despite the crisis in Ukraine, their business this year will be within the projections, or even better than that, according to the latest survey of the American Chamber of Commerce on the business climate and investor confidence, which was presented to the public today.

While the impact of the current crisis on the operations of micro and small enterprises (MME) is more significant. Almost three times as many respondents from micro-owned companies compared to large companies, members of the American Chamber, believe that revenue will decline, while 45 percent of companies expect a drop in profits.

The most significant negative impacts of the current crisis on business, members of the American Chamber, as well as micro and small businesses that participated in the research as a control sample, state the acceleration of inflation, the increase in the price of energy and the unpredictability of the price of raw materials.

Satisfaction with the business environment in Serbia is at the level of last year and has recorded a continuous slight increase since 2016. As an investment destination, Serbia is rated better than Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and worse compared to neighboring EU member states. Bearing in mind that this has been the case since the research was conducted, the conclusion is that EU membership is perceived as a sign of the stability of the business environment and the predictability of short-term and long-term economic development.

The biggest challenge for members of the American Chamber in 2023 is the availability of labor, followed by challenges caused by the conflict in Ukraine, and the third most significant challenge for both groups of respondents is financial discipline in payments.

Optimism for the coming year is lower than measured in previous surveys, both in terms of business growth and new employment, due to the great uncertainty caused by the global crisis. However, the vast majority, 89 percent of companies, expect to maintain or increase their business in 2023, and 96 percent of them plan to maintain or increase employment. In the MMP sample as well, the focus is on maintaining business activity from this year, but a larger share, almost one third, expects a decline in business.

When it comes to reforms, 60 percent of the members of the American Chamber of Commerce and almost half of the MMP respondents cite the reduction of corruption as a priority reform, while 57 percent of the companies that are members of the American Chamber and 37 percent of the respondents from the MMP sample believe that the priority should be focused on improving the efficiency of the judiciary and the rule of law. This year, the green agenda reached the third place among reform priorities, which speaks of the great importance of environmental issues and green energy transition, Politika writes.

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