The aim is for Serbia to put a stop to the bad industrial inheritance during my mandate, says Minister of Economy Goran Knezevic, who describes the Serbian economy as a piece of gold lying in the mud.
Knezevic says for the new economics magazine Srpska Ekonomija that Serbia has lost nearly 100 industrial centers in the past 20 years, where around half a million workers used to be employed, and that it has reduced its industry to the level it was at in the early 1970s.
– My goal is for Serbia to put a stop to the bad industrial inheritance during my mandate and leave it to history. In order to reach this goal, the hardest thing is to change the way we work and make decisions and our attitude towards work, and time is running out – Knezevic says.
The minister points out that he expects that Serbia will end 2016 with EUR 1.8 billion of foreign direct investment inflow and notes that the investments made by the state through incentives alone amounted to more than EUR 220 million, thanks to which around 15,000 will be employed.
Knezevic emphasizes that Serbia would continue its incentive policy and says that 85% of the budget of the Ministry of Economy is meant for support to development and that the goal is for there to be at least 30 new contracts signed in 2017.
He adds that, in the 74 completed projects, no job positions have been terminated since the expiration of the period of control of responsibilities under contract.
The minister says that the beat of the modern world is finally felt in Serbia today, brought by younger generations. In such an environment, taking a risk is no longer a big deal, and the state is growing increasingly understanding of businessmen's needs and creating conditions for development. As he points out, the opportunity for the Serbian economy lies in the IT sector, but also in the mechanical industry and the industries of equipment, wood, furniture, rubber and plastic and food.
– We will place a special focus on founding micro, small and medium enterprises in order to develop adequate connections between purchasers and suppliers, of the network towards large enterprises, as well as towards other producers and consumers, and in order for local companies to become integrated into the value chain – from raw materials to the final products to be exported – as much as possible – Knezevic stated.