Serbia has managed to maintain economic stability, the best economic growth in the region

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The head of the International Monetary Fund’s office in Serbia, Julia Ustyugova, said today at the Kopaonik Business Forum that despite the challenges of the pandemic, Serbia managed to maintain economic stability and had cumulative GDP growth higher this year than countries in the region.

Speaking at the panel “Macroeconomic Trends in Serbia: Creating a Sustainable Future”, speaking about the new crisis affecting the whole world, she said that several priorities were important, the first of which was macroeconomic and financial stability.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, economic stability has been maintained. There has been a slight decline in GDP in 2020, but cumulatively with 2021, Serbian economic growth has outpaced the growth of countries in the region,” Ustyugova said, as well as that fiscal and monetary policy was good, and that stability in the banking system was maintained.

She pointed out that, unfortunately, the world’s economies are facing new insecurities due to the war in Ukraine, which are spilling over from one country to another.

Ustyugova pointed out that the prices of goods and oil have risen, as well as that high inflation is most endangering the poor.

“Policies and measures to mitigate the effects of the crisis must be defined. The importance of the fiscal pillar is well recognized in Serbia. Serbia was able to react well to all these disturbances, because it had fiscal security,” Ustyugova stressed.

“Define help well for the most vulnerable categories”

She said that for the next period, measures should be well defined that will refer to helping the most vulnerable categories of the population, because, as she says, insecurity will grow if we do not accept the risks in the right way.

She said that the IMF would soon conduct a second revision of the arrangement with Serbia and report on the progress made.

Ustjugova emphasized that it is important to further improve the business environment, develop the capital market, then further reform public companies, a green transition, as well as a fair transition that will help those who will be victims of this process in the right way.

Pontara: Serbia is relatively well off in the current situation

The director of the World Bank Office in Serbia, Nikola Pontara, said that Serbia is relatively well in this situation compared to other countries in the region, and that it has 50 percent of energy from domestic production.

He said that Serbia received 75% of the electricity from lignite, and the rest from the hydro capacity, as well as that the gas that Serbia received from Russia is very important for its economy, but that there will be problems if there are some difficulties with delivery.

Pontara praised the development of infrastructure in Serbia and noted that Serbia will have to modernize thermal power plants and gradually reduce the production of electricity from coal.

He added that Serbia has certainly made great progress and that there is still a lot of room for progress in the field of energy. He also praised the reaction of the state in the fight against the pandemic, Euronews reports.