Source: eKapija | Tuesday, 11.10.2016.| 15:43
Highlight an article Print out the news

More budget money for entrepreneurship in 2017 – Better access to finance for SMEs among Government's priorities

(Photo: isak55/
Minister of Economy Goran Knezevic stated yesterday that there were 350,000 small and medium enterprises employing 850,000 people in Serbia, with the potential of becoming the backbone of the economic growth. He pointed out that the goal was to have the SME sector participate with more than 30% in the GDP, as is the case in Switzerland.

– The interest of the Government of Serbia is for small and medium enterprises to operate successfully and be strong – Knezevic said at the conference on small and medium enterprises organized by the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce with the aim of highlighting the importance of the SME sector in the future economic relations of Switzerland and Serbia.

The gathering was organized as part of the Year of Entrepreneurship, through whose programs RSD 9.5 billion of the allocated RSD 16 billion has been approved for entrepreneurs so far, with the plan to implement all the funds by the end of the year. Minister Knezevic also announced that more budget money would be set aside for supporting entrepreneurship.

– We will provide considerably larger amounts of budget money for the next year. We have already had meetings with the Ministry of Finance and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic – the minister said and added that Serbia was implementing the strategy for the support to the development of SMEs and entrepreneurship for the period from 2015 till 2020, with the aim of having 100,000 new jobs by 2020.

According to the minister, among the government's goals regarding SMEs are better access to finance for small and medium enterprises, reduction of charges, improving work force quality and strengthening inventiveness and competitiveness of SMEs.

As he pointed out, the Government will continue to support this sector and point foreign investors to the potential of local companies and advantages of including them in the chain of suppliers and subcontractors. Regarding that, he reminded that Switzerland was one of the 10 biggest investors in Serbia and that it had invested EUR 500 million in the past decade.

Yana Mikhailova, president of the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, emphasized that one the association's priorities was to step up the investments in Serbia and reminded that Switzerland had great experience and knowledge regarding the SME sector. She said that the SME sector was the backbone of Swiss economy and the driving force of economic growth, as small and medium enterprises participated with 32% in the gross domestic product of the country.

Ambassador of Switzerland to Serbia Philippe Guex also stated that a strong SME sector was very important to any country's economic growth and said that SMEs made up 99% of all Swiss companies and that it was them that had secured the prosperity of the middle class.

– Unpredictability is disastrous for investors. This is why an important requirement for the development of the SME sector in Serbia is a predictable regulatory framework, but also good conditions for finance and inventiveness – Guex said and added that Serbia also needed to adjust the education system to the needs of the labor market.

He emphasized that Switzerland would continue to support the development of the SME sector in Serbia and reminded that the economic crisis which had struck the country in the previous ten years had had a bad impact on small and medium enterprises. This is why there's great potential in them, which can provide economic growth for Serbia.

Serbia on the road to economic recovery

Goran Knezevic said that Serbia's economic growth was 2.9% at the moment and that the budget surplus was higher than EUR 300 million, whereas the growth of industrial production was higher than 5%.

– We want the GDP growth to exceed 3% and to remain sustainable in the next four years in order for us to bring the standard of living of our citizens to that of the EU countries – Knezevic said.

He pointed out that it was encouraging that the export was growing, whereas the unemployment rate had dropped to 15.2%, and said that he expected it to drop to 11% in the next three years.

Minister Knezevic announced that the register of all commercial charges would soon be completed and that the law on taxes and fees, which should unburden the commercial sector, should be ready by the end of the year. He reminded that it was very important to facilitate the access to finance to small and medium enterprises.
Only logged-in users can comment.
Follow the news, tenders, grants, legal regulations and reports on our portal.
Testiraj besplatno!
Register for our daily business bulletin, which is sent to your email address at the end of each work day.
Full information is available only to commercial users-subscribers and it is necessary to log in.
Test for free!
Testiraj besplatno!
Full information is available to commercial users-subscribers only.
Testiraj besplatno!

Log in to view complete information:
Forgot your password? Click here HERE
For free test use, click HERE