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CEO of Telenor Kjell-Morten Johnsen

The FIC Presents the White Book 2010

28. October 2010. | 11:59

Source: Emg.rs

This year's edition of the White Book, eighth in a row, serves as the basis for active dialogue between foreign investors and the Government on ways to improve the overall business climate and raise competitiveness of Serbia as an investment location.

The White Book 2010 has been presented to the Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and the highest Government officials by the Foreign Investors Council.

This year's edition of the White Book, eighth in a row, serves as the basis for active dialogue between foreign investors and the Government on ways to improve the overall business climate and raise competitiveness of Serbia as an investment location.

The launch event was opened by FIC President Kjell-Morten Johnsen, who emphasised the need to capture lessons learned and implement the new model of growth by accelerating structural reforms. He added that the prudent budgetary and fiscal policy coupled with simplified regulatory framework would represent a solid basis for sustainable economic development.

He noted that significant changes have been made by new regulations in the fields of competition protection, foreign exchange, standardization and intellectual property rights and underlined the importance of better implementation in order to achieve their full effects in practice.

Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic presented the future Government plans and reform agenda in the post crisis period. Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic stated that Serbia will keep improving its business environment, stressing that predictability of economic policy is very important for foreign investors.

PM Cvetkovic noted that principles of this predictability are EU accession, the arrangement with the IMF, combating monopolies and further reform of regulations.

Serbia’s economic policy in the period ahead will mostly focus on investment-based development, the state’s investment in infrastructure and the creation of a better business environment, as well as an increase in export-oriented production, the Prime Minister explained.

Cvetkovic emphasised that Serbia’s membership in the EU is not only a political, but also an important economic issue.

Starting from 1 January 2011, the government will revoke the 10% tax on mobile telephones, and liberalise the oil derivatives market and customs fees, in line with the EU accession process.

Speaking about the financial arrangement with the IMF, Cvetkovic recalled that as agreed with the IMF, Serbia’s fiscal policy is also predictable, being envisaged by the recently adopted Law on the budget system, with a part of the Law on fiscal responsibility specifying the direction for the upcoming period.

EU Ambassador Vincent Degert expressed support to continuous efforts of all stakeholders to improve the business climate through the introduction of EU standards and best practices.

Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert underlined that the European Commission will monitor the implementation of laws, because without the rule of law there can be no efficient markets, adding that law enforcement will be the focal point of the Questionnaire, which the Commission will forward to Serbia.

He added that the functioning of regulatory bodies must be secured and judicial reform completed in order to ensure efficient and speedy court procedures.Degert highlighted that the European Commission will submit its annual report on Serbia’s progress towards EU integration in November, noting that the report may be used as a road map for the continuation of reform.

Editor-in-Chief Mihailo Crnobrnja provided more information about the White Book 2010 publication.

The highest Government officials and the FIC Board members engaged in a panel discussion on the business environment in Serbia and ways to improve it.

Opinions were exchanged between the Governor of the National Bank of Serbia Dejan Soskic, Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic, Minister of Telecommunications and Information Society Jasna Matic and Minister of Trade and Services Slobodan Milosavljevic.

Views of FIC were presented by: FIC President and CEO of Telenor Kjell-Morten Johnsen, FIC Vice President and President of the BoD of Societe Generale Serbia Goran Pitic, FIC Board member and General Manager of Lafarge BFC Costin Borc and FIC Board member and General Manager of PepsiCo West Balkans Vassilis Glinos.

White Book 2010 identifies predictability, consistency and certainty of the business conditions as the key points for future growth. The publication sets forth concrete proposals and reveals suggestions for ease of doing business in Serbia. The emphasis remains on the three pillars of development: infrastructure, real estate and human capital.

FIC representatives reiterated the readiness to be a constructive partner to the Government and to assist the authorities by sharing experiences and giving concrete recommendations for future economic progress of Serbia.


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25. October - 31. October 2010.