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Insights into Serbia’s economic landscape: Trends, challenges, and prospects

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Serbia’s economic landscape reflects a diverse range of activities, with the non-specialized wholesale trade sector dominating the business scene. Over the past five years, consulting services, construction, computer programming, and transportation have emerged as key players in the economy. Additionally, the pandemic has spurred growth in courier services, while the information technology sector continues to expand rapidly, positioning itself as a major exporter of services.

Milan Lučić, director of the Agency for Business Registers (APR), highlights the significant role of trade and services in the Serbian economy. He emphasizes the growing importance of the IT sector, which has become one of the country’s largest net exporters of services, driven by innovation and knowledge.

Electronic services play a crucial role in streamlining business processes and enhancing efficiency. The APR offers electronic compilation and submission of financial reports, which has been widely adopted by legal entities. The Central Record of the Unified Procedure, managed by the APR, facilitates electronic issuance of building permits, further supporting business operations.

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Despite the availability of electronic registration for entrepreneurs and limited liability companies, adoption has been relatively slow. However, mandatory electronic registration introduced in May 2023 led to a significant increase in electronically established companies. Lučić acknowledges that while some users may have reservations about electronic services, efforts are underway to promote awareness and encourage digital adoption.

The introduction of a unique electronic inbox for companies on the eGovernment Portal aims to further enhance digitization and facilitate electronic delivery of documents from public authorities. This initiative aligns with efforts to improve legal security and streamline business processes through electronic services.

In light of growing cybersecurity threats, the APR prioritizes the protection of its information systems. Despite occasional hacker attacks, the agency remains vigilant and implements various measures to safeguard data integrity and prevent unauthorized access.

Looking ahead, Lučić emphasizes the importance of political stability for sustaining economic growth. With ongoing government incentives and investment in infrastructure, Serbia’s economy continues to show resilience and potential for expansion. However, challenges such as global market risks and geopolitical tensions remain, underscoring the need for continued vigilance and adaptability in the business landscape.

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