Serbia plans to privatize 78 companies

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That Serbia is making progress on the path of attracting foreign investments, states the American State Department in its report on the investment climate in Serbia. The most deserving of this are the good strategic location of the country, educated workforce, but also free trade agreements with key countries. However, what our administration is criticized by the representatives of the European Union, the non-governmental sector and the citizens, was also on the list of American investors, Startit reports.
Corruption, slow bureaucracy, state-owned companies operating at a loss, gray economy and inefficient judiciary are what they assess as problems for further investments in our country. In addition, they are concerned about the political influence on supposedly independent regulatory agencies.
They believe that the modest improvement of the investment climate in recent years has been influenced by macroeconomic reforms, greater financial stability and discipline, as well as EU accession negotiations, which initiate legal changes, thus improving the business climate. They also point out that last year Serbia advanced by four positions on the World Bank’s Doing Business list and is now in 44th place.
American investors also state that they generally enjoy equal conditions, which their Serbian and foreign competition has. Also, how, along with the embassy, the local leaders react to investment problems.
The Government’s moves to improve the investment climate include significant reforms of labor laws, building permits, inspections, public procurement and privatization, which have helped improve the business environment.
“Digitization of certain functions has not yet brought a dramatic shortening of processing time and may not be applied consistently. The government is slowly making progress in resolving problematic state-owned enterprises. Where possible, this has been achieved through bankruptcy or privatization procedures. The government plans to privatize another 78 companies, and is also slowly reducing the bloated public sector workforce in Serbia, mainly through layoffs and employment restrictions.”
According to them, if the Government implements the announced reforms, business opportunities will continue to grow, and the sectors that will benefit from agriculture and processing of its products are waste management, environmental protection, ICT, renewable energy sources, mining and health.
They also state that women in Serbia generally enjoy equal treatment in business and conclude that investors should monitor the implementation of reforms and changes in investment incentive programs, Bonitet reports.