Date: 11/12/2017

The Fifth Lap Time Conference – Reforms in Fifth Gear

The American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia presented the results of its Annual Survey on Investors Satisfaction and Confidence at the conference The Fifth Lap Time – Reforms in Fifth Gear.

At the conference that attracted representatives from AmCham company members, state authorities and partner organizations, Amalija Pavić, AmCham Deputy Executive Director, presented the results of the Annual Survey on Investors Satisfaction and Confidence carried out among AmCham company members. The research encompassed, among others, the expectations of investors in terms of further improvement of the business environment and identification of key reform priorities necessary for economic growth and employment in Serbia. The crucial difference, compared to previous research, is that this year, for the first time, results from micro and small enterprises and start-ups were included. The results show that predictability of changes and implementation of regulations, especially tax regulations, and the unfair competition from the gray economy are the biggest challenge for business in Serbia, while improving the efficiency of the judiciary and reducing corruption are the most important preconditions for new investments.

The conference was moderated by Zoran Petrović, AmCham Board President and CEO of Raiffeisen Bank, who pointed out that in this year’s research, on the scale of 1 to 5, AmCham company members gave a stable 3 to the business environment, which is much better than previous years, but certainly further progress in reforms is expected. ''A better business climate is the main goal of the Government of Serbia and the private sector. We all together need to shift to the fifth gear and have to approach challenges systematically - public debates on changes in regulations that affect the economy, the suppression of the gray economy and the development of e-government and e-business are the basis for further progress,“ Petrović said.

The reforms considered by businessmen as most successful were the reduction of the budget deficit, the introduction of electronic building permits and the beginning of eGovernment reform, while the worst-evaluated were reform of public enterprises, public procurement, health care and education.

As preconditions for growth in business and employment in the next year, both AmCham members and micro, small enterprises and startups, highlighted the reduction of bureaucracy in import and export procedures, reduction of administrative burdens in the field of work, and fostering education and health reforms.

Attending the conference were key Government officials – Zorana Mihajlović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure, Nela Kuburović, Minister of Justice and Ivan Bošnjak, State Secretary, Ministry of Public administration and Local self-government.