The Foreign Investors Council presented the White Book 2011 to Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and the highest officials of Serbian Government. This year’s edition, ninth in a row, serves as basis for active dialogue between foreign investors and the Government on ways to improve overall business climate.
The launch event was opened by FIC President Kjell-Morten Johnsen, who reminded that during 2011 FIC continued to analyze Serbian legal framework and participate in constructive dialogue with the Government.
Despite initialized reforms, general impression was that no major progress was made to improve business climate, he noted. “Businesses in Serbia are facing lack of transparency and due process in their everyday life. Government simply needs to do more than it has done so far“, Johnsen emphasized.
He stated that certain progress was made in fields of energy and real-estate, as well as in the areas of company law, capital market and enforcement, but underlined the importance of better implementation of new regulation in order to achieve their full effects in practise.
FIC President concluded that FIC advocated economic integration with EU, with the view to promote economic growth and transparency. There was no doubt that these objectives were in the interest of Serbian population, as growth would lead to employment and socio-economic development.
Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic gave a key note speech, while Editor Mihailo Crnobrnja gave brief overview of this year’s edition of the White Book. Subsequently, the highest Government officials and the FIC Board members engaged in a panel discussion on the business environment in Serbia and the ways of its improvement.
Opinions were exchanged between the Governor of the National Bank of Serbia Dejan Soskic, Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic, Minister of Economy and Regional Development Nebojsa Ciric and Minister of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning Oliver Dulic.
Views of FIC were presented by: FIC President and CEO of Telenor Kjell-Morten Johnsen, FIC Vice President and President of the BoD of Societe Generale Bank Serbia Goran Pitic, FIC Board Member and General Manager of Henkel Serbia Georg Grassl and FIC Board Member and General Manager of Lafarge BFC Costin Borc.
The White Book 2011 identifies predictability of business environment, transparency and consistency as key points for future development. Novelty in this year’s edition is balance score card of recommendations from previous White Book editions, providing information on authorities’ response to concrete proposals of foreign investors.
FIC representatives repeated its readiness to be a constructive partner to the Government assisting the authorities by sharing experiences and giving recommendations for future economic progress of Serbia.
Foreign Investors Council has since its establishment been building a partnership with the Government of Serbia, always striving to use the extensive experience of its member companies to provide adequate support to the Government of Serbia in the process of transition of the economy, as well as the society at large. The association was established in 2002, currently gathers over 120 companies, which have invested over €13.7 billion and employ more than 75,000 people.