The Foreign Investors Council (FIC) celebrated its 15th anniversary in the Serbian market on the evening of September 5 at a ceremony in Belgrade, and Minister of Finance Dusan Vujovic said on the occasion that Serbia was one of the most attractive locations for investments in the Western Balkans and beyond, after three years of reforms.
Vujovic said that Serbia strove to improve the business climate in order to attract as many investors as possible and pointed out that 16,400 new jobs had been created in 2016 thanks to foreign investments.
– Investors are seeking big and growing markets. Serbia is not a big market, but it is a growing market – Vujovic said and reminded that the country was currently 47th on the Doing Business list, as well as that it had been facing bankruptcy three years before, whereas, after the eight months of 2017, it had a budget surplus of EUR 60 billion.
He also said that the value of direct foreign investments in 2015 amounted to EUR 1.8 billion in 2015 and over EUR 2 billion in 2016.
– According to an analysis by Financial Times, Serbia has 77 new greenfield projects, which is 12 times more than expected, given our country’s capabilities – Vujovic said.
The minister added that the time needed to register a business had been shortened from 12 to 7 days.
President of the Foreign Investors Council Yana Mikhailova said that the FIC had remained dedicated to the same goals ever since its founding and that those goals were an open market and equal terms of doing business for all participants.
– In these 15 years, the Council has kept on growing both in the number of members and in expertise, while remaining independent throughout – Mikhailova said and added that the members of the institution were “the driving engine of the growth of Serbian economy and new employments”.
She announced that the Council would present a new issue of the White Book on November 8, presenting a collection of recommendations for a further enhancement of the business environment in order for the Serbian market to be made more attractive for new investments.
Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic said in the press release regarding the anniversary that the FIC gave “a great contribution to the important, quality dialogue between the business sector and the state”.
– With its recommendations, which are published each year in the White Book, the Foreign Investors Council has had a positive influence on the enhancement of a business environment – Mihajlovic said, as reported by the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure.
She added that the goal of the FIC and the government was to have as many foreign companies investing in Serbia as possible and to have them all do business as easily as possible in order to make bigger profits and for the state to use the collected taxes to create a modern and successful Serbia.
The Foreign Investors Council is a business association advocating the enhancement and raising of the competitiveness of the Serbian market. It currently brings together over 130 companies, which have invested more than EUR 28.7 billion in Serbia, with a participation of 21.7% of the GDP and 22.2% in the export of Serbia, while directly employing over 94,000 people.
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