There's great potential in Serbia for financing small and medium enterprises through leasing, but this financial instrument, unfortunately, remains underused, it was noted on Friday, October 14, at the meeting at the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia. As it was said, over EUR 5 billion has been invested in Serbian economy in the past 12 years through financing SMEs through leasing.
Deputy general manager of the CCIS, Mihailo Vesovic, says that it is very important for the chamber to familiarize SMEs with those financial instruments they need in order to maintain their operations and raise them to another level.
– Financial leasing is an instrument important in procuring new equipment, which certainly has an impact on a company's productivity and competitiveness – Vesovic said and added that financial leasing was a very important instrument.
The assistant to the minister of economy for SMEs and entrepreneurs, Katarina Obradovic Jovanovic, said that the Government strove to find a way to step up the cooperation with the private sector and leasing houses and added that it was important to develop other financial instruments besides banking loans.
She emphasized that there was not a lot of interest in leasing at the moment, due to which she had made an appeal to leasing houses to submit their suggestions and measures to the relevant ministry. As she said, businessmen still rather opted for banking loans to procure equipment.
The aim of the conference, according to the president of the Association of Leasing Companies of Serbia, Boris Stevic, is for the leasing industry to also support the Year of Entrepreneurship in Serbia and to start dialogues, improve the business environment and expand the array of financial instruments.
– The advantages of financial leasing are a quick and simple process of approval, and it is a great advantage that we support startup companies with weaker financial indicators, because we do not require additional collateral – Stevic pointed out.
As he says, there's great potential in this area and it is necessary for leasing to be included in equipment procurement programs and to be involved in financing public procurement procedures in order to make them more transparent, as leasing directly finances the object of leasing, so it's immediately known what is being procured.
The ALCS announced that it would ask for the Law on Financial Leasing to be amended in order to enable financing public procurement procedures through leasing, as they believed that it would increase the transparency of public procurement expenses. The association also proposed that leasing be included in subsidized procurement of agricultural machinery.