Setting Serbia on the Path to Growth: The First 100 Days - WSMV Channel 4

Setting Serbia on the Path to Growth: The First 100 Days

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SOURCE The Office of The Prime Minister of Serbia

BELGRADE, Serbia, August 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Today marks the first 100 days in power for the current government of Serbia led by Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic. The Government was sworn in on 27 April, following a landslide victory for the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) led by Mr Vucic in the national elections.

Mr Vucic and his Government highlight that the economy remains their first priority. During the first 100 days, an extensive package of reforms to remove hurdles to business, stimulate growth and set Serbia on a path to long-term fiscal sustainability has been implemented.

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said: "We have made some real progress towards a healthier economy and a better life for our people.  Just in the last two months, 460 million euros have been paid out in SMEs - part of a €1.2 billion package of subsidized loans agreed with banks to support Serbia's dynamic entrepreneurs.

"Our people are some of the most talented and hard-working in Europe and measures implemented over the past 100 days are already helping to create new jobs and boost opportunities for them.  

"The road ahead is not easy but we have made a great start. We have a highly experienced team and a clear plan of action to revitalise the economy, and introduce greater fiscal discipline in a responsible way that does not derail growth.  This Government is building a modern Serbia that will be a regional champion of industry and agriculture, an integral part of the European community and a great place to live." 

Key new measures adapted over the past 100 days include:

  • An improved Labor Law, boosting labour market flexibility and creating more favorable conditions for new job creation.
  • Tax benefits for businesses have also been introduced to provide a financial incentive for businesses to hire new people
  • New Bankruptcy Law and Planning and Construction Law have been enacted to cut red tape and improve the business environment in Serbia
  • Changes to Pension and Disability Insurance legislation raise the retirement age for women from 60 to 65, which will help plug the gap in public finances in a socially responsible way
  • Subsidized loans worth 1.2 billion euros have been agreed with the banks to support business growth. Of that, 460 million has been paid out just in the last two months
  • Three new media laws that are in line with European Union legislation have been approved by Parliament, helping to prepare Serbia for EU integration. Once passed, these laws will ensure further liberalization of the media market and greater media freedom
  • A new Privatization Law has been passed to attract high quality direct investment and bring the best of modern management thinking to the Serbian public sector

Priorities for the coming months will include improving liquidity through special 'bad loan' funds, tackling the gap in public finances with a privatization programme and restructuring of state enterprises as well as continued efforts to fight the grey economy, tax evasion and illegal trading. On the international stage, Serbia is working towards its ambitious goal of EU membership by 2020.

Notes to editors 

The Republic of Serbia is located at the crossroads of Central and South-Eastern Europe with a population of 7.12 million. Serbia became a stand-alone sovereign republic in the summer of 2006. The capital of Serbia and the country's administrative, economic and cultural centre is Belgrade, with a population of 1.64m.

Serbia is the biggest and most diversified economy in the region with a GDP of €35.28 billion. This is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 5.8% until 2020 under the current Government's programme focused on investment growth.

With a corporate tax rate of 10% - the lowest in Europe - Serbia offers an attractive business environment and the volume of foreign direct investment (FDI) is growing rapidly.

In the first quarter of 2013, FDI inflow was €330m compared to €180m in the same period of 2012. During the same period, there was also a 25% increase in exports.

For more information on Serbia, please visit: http://www.serbiaineurope.com/

 

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