$16.7 million initiative will help Government of Serbia improve competitiveness of the Serbian economy and its private sector businesses
US Ambassador to Serbia, Ms. Mary Burce Warlick, Deputy Prime Minister Ms. Verica Kalanovic, Director of the Serbian European Integration Office, Ms. Milica Delevic
The USAID Business Enabling Project was officially opened today at a ceremony organized in the Belgrade City Assembly. This $16.7 million, five year, initiative was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Serbian Government Ms. Verica Kalanovic, US Ambassador to Serbia Ms. Mary Burce Warlick, and Director of the Serbian European Integration Office, Ms. Milica Delevic. The Project will provide technical assistance, training, and other support to improve the business enabling environment, maintain macroeconomic stability, and further develop financial markets. All project activities are based on the priorities of the private sector and the Serbian Government.
U.S. Ambassador Warlick stated that “Today’s event is co-hosted with the Serbian European Integration Office, which demonstrates the partnership between USAID and the Government of Serbia to implement this project. Another partnership is between the Government, business, and experts, who will work together to make sure that policy changes really do improve the ability of Serbian businesses to grow and hire employees. The project will facilitate this important work by providing expertise and grants that will help the Government and business community identify priority reforms that have the potential for real economic impact.”
After the opening speeches a panel of experts discussed the policy initiatives that are necessary for achieving sustained economic growth in Serbia. A panel of business representatives (Serbian Chamber of Commerce, American Chamber of Commerce, Foreign Investors Council and Serbian Association of Managers) discussed the biggest constraints to business and how the USAID Business Enabling Project could help the Government of Serbia and business community to remove the existing constraints.
The project is focusing on activities that will make it easier to do business in Serbia. Joe Lowther, Chief of Party of the USAID Business Enabling Project said: “We continuously consult the business community to determine how laws, institutions, and procedures can be improved to make it easier to obtain investment and grow. We work side by side with the Government to make improvements that are of the highest priority. Our tasks during our first year include helping with the implementation of some important new laws as well as assistance to the Ministry of Finance and Fiscal Council to strengthen public finance.”