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.