National Competitiveness Council of the Serbian Government was formed in 2008 with the goal to support systematic and institutionalized efforts to improve competitiveness of the national economy, through cooperation among the Government, private sector and the academia. As of recently, AmCham participates in the work of four newly-formed working groups aiming to improve Serbia’s ranking in the Global Competitiveness Index published by the World Economic Forum every year.
In its January 21st session, the Government of Serbia adopted a first package of measures proposed by the National Competitiveness Council.
In this package, the Council adopted AmCham’s suggestions and comments on the Labor Law and the General Collective Agreement in full as well as selected suggestions for removing bureaucratic barriers to international payments, improving the protection of intellectual property rights, decreasing communal fees to a competitive level compared to those in the region, improving regulation of telecom infrastructure and reform of capital markets regulation..
Although implementation of the adopted measures failed to meet deadlines set by the Government, the following results were accomplished by the end of 2010:
• A decision of the National Bank of Serbia scrapped the obligation to present full documentation to the bank when executing international payments, while obliging the payee to keep records;
• The Draft Optical Discs law passed public discussion and should be adopted by the Government soon;
• In, line with AmCham comments, The Law on Capital Markets, which is to substitute for the Securities Act, was passed by the Government and sent to the parliamentary procedure;
• In an attempt to limit significant increases of local charges, the Ministry of Finance has drafted a Decree on the maximum amount of local communal charges for a firm’s name and for motor vehicles which should be adopted soon..