Source: Danas | Wednesday, 06.05.2009.| 15:50
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Additional 1 billion EUR worth of aid – European Union keeps financing projects in Serbia

(Photo: b)

In the period 2000-2006, European Union directed about 2 billion EUR to Serbia, and it is going to allocate another 1 billion EUR prior to year 2011. Although the funds are intended for various sectors, they directly or indirectly helped the growth of small and mid-sized enterprises. Over 50 billion EUR have been invested in that sector to the date.

- In addition, the Union was also providing the funds that made the access easier for Serbian SME. Thus, for example, 15m EUR was paid to the revolving fund, which now has 40m EUR at its disposal. There have not been many bad loans, which is the proof of seriousness and maturity of financial institutions and entrepreneurs in this country, and EU will resume its financial support to Serbia – sad the Manager of the Department of European Integrations of the Delegation of European Commission to Serbia, Alberto Kamarata, at round table "SME in EU programmes", which has been organized by Erste Bank in hotel "In".

Kamarata explained that entrepreneurs can not obtain funds directly from EU, but through the banks that participate in the EU programmes. He pointed out that the strengthening of the government institutions that were in charge of SME was necessary, as well as urgent harmonization of the policy on small enterprises in Serbia with the valid policy in EU. Although Serbia, as a signer of the Charter of SME, receives good marks for reforms in that sector, Kamarata pointed to the necessity of simplification of regulations, and he complimented launching of programme "Guillotine for Regulations".

The Assistant to the Minister of Science, Viktor Nedović, said that small and mid-sized enterprises in Serbia can apply for the funds from EU’s Seventh Framework Programme, intended for financing of scientific researches, which has over 50 billion EUR at its disposal. Nedović reminded that only the consortiums comprising 5 to 10 companies and scientific institutions with the projects worth between 500,000 and 1.5m EUR should apply for the funds.

Free funds

- Over 1,000 applications have been submitted for total of 40m RSD within the open competition for SME projects aimed at development of competitiveness and innovation, which is financed from the Republic budget. The Cluster Development Programme, for which 30m RSD has been set aside, is still open. The companies in Serbia also have EU’s funds from the Programme for Development of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CIP) at their disposal. The invitation for Eco-innovation Programme, which is intended for building, food and recycling companies and has the budget of 30m EUR, will be open prior to September 10th – said Igor Brkanović, the Assistant to the Minister of Economy.

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