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Business community agrees: Serbia needs 5 percent growth and more domestic investments

The business community is united in their view that further work is needed to bring our country closer to the European Union and towards improving and respecting the law.

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Representatives of domestic and foreign capital estimate that Serbia needs a 5 percent of GDP growth annually and that the level of domestic investment has to be increased, which is only possible by ensuring a level playing field for all companies and compliance with laws and procedures.

As estimated at the 19th Belgrade Economic Summit, the education sector is a key part of society from which modern educated workforce must be recruited.

The business community is united in their view that further work is needed to bring our country closer to the European Union and towards improving and respecting the law.

In this sense, the Honorary President of the Union of Employers of Serbia Nebojsa Atanackovic said that if faster development of the economic and social sector is wanted, this will not be possible without a serious development of the economy, which should not be based only on foreign but also on domestic investments.

"We can only achieve this if we are ready to invest in the domestic economy for an annual GDP growth of 5 or more percent," Atanackovic believes.

The president of the Union of Serbian Economists, Aleksandar Vlahovic, spoke of the need to increase the overall level of investment in order to ensure inclusive and self-sustainable growth.

Ekonomski samit Srbije

Photo: Tanjug/Sava Radovanovic

"Investments and exports must be key contributors to growth, not consumption and imports," says Vlahovic.

Work on securing a business environment and laws that guarantee property safety, legal, business and financial discipline, according to Vlahovic, must be the priorities. This will ensure a higher level of domestic investment, which, he says, has been reduced over the past period.

The development of the Serbian economy depends on many factors, and above all on the inflow of money, investments, and the quality of the workforce in the country, added ITM Group President Toplica Spasojevic, who believes that more work needs to be done to increase the growth rate.

"And without investment and a quality workforce, this will not be possible."

Allowing for a faster flow of goods and services without delays at borders is one of the goals that can contribute to regional cooperation, says Spasojevic.

The Serbian government, in this regard, should continue to improve the business environment, which is very important for European integrations that have no alternative, says Martin Knapp, president of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

"If the government pursues this path, everything will be fine," Knap said.

He points out that red tape has to be reduced in our country and that this should be one of the main goals of the state.

Former Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Milan Parivodic points out that new national goals require giving up personal and special interests and a reflection on Serbia's general interest.

He believes that it's worth considering whether Serbia will survive if the current pace of emigration and prevailing mortality in relation to birth rates continues.

"It's necessary to talk patriotically and calmly, not to make up some new stuff like (former deputy PM of Yugoslavia) Kardelj did, but to see what serious countries of Western Europe are doing and reorganize Serbia in a similar manner," Parivodic said.

According to Tanjug's interlocutors, every branch of the economy has the legal system of the state as its foundation. That is why, they say, further work is needed to improve the legal environment in Serbia in accordance with worldwide laws, and put these laws into practice.



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