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White Book Events
19. November 2014.
FIC Presents the White Book 2014
Belgrade, 19th November 2014 – The Foreign Investors Council presented the White Book 2014 to the highest officials of the Serbian Government. This year's edition, 12th in the row, once again provides suggestions for ease of doing business in Serbia. FIC members’ knowledge has been invested in this project with the aim to help Serbia improve business environment and thus attract more investments and unleash growth.
At his introductory speech FIC President Frederic Coin noted that since the last year's White Book edition, "Serbian Government initiated reforms by changing some of key laws and adopting fiscal consolidation measures, but more important structural reforms are still expected. We especially welcome significant improvements in labour and bankruptcy laws, which recognize majority of White Book recommendations and should considerably raise Serbia's competitiveness. FIC also commends adopted urgent measures of fiscal consolidation and calls upon the Government to utilize its strong political mandate to follow with long-term measures which include privatization, corporatization of public enterprises, and public administration reform in order to create sustainable public sector and improve conditions for private sector development", Coin added.
He conveyed 4 main FIC expectations from the Government: to enforce fiscal consolidation and improve macro-economic stability; to implement enacted laws, monitor and ensure their proper application; to continue improving regulations and harmonization with EU legislation; to lower administrative burden by immediately establishing investor's aftercare function within Prime Ministers' Office and working long-term by re-launching guillotine project and lowering para-fiscal burden.
According to the latest White Book, last year brought slowdown in overall reforms, caused by elections and floods, but at the same time yielded some fundamental positive changes, especially significant progress in the labour regulations. Significant progress was also marked in the area of consumer protection. Also, certain progress has been marked in the areas of transport, energy and environment regulations, as well as fields of telecommunications and oil& gas. Least progress is marked in real-estate, payment deadlines, product safety, personal data protection, as well as in the fields of insurance, pharmaceuticals, and home care products.
The highest Government's officials and the FIC Board members gathered in a panel to discuss ways to improve business environment in Serbia. Opinions were exchanged between DPM and Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Kori Udovički and Minister of Finance Dušan Vujović, while FIC views were presented by: FIC President and President of the Executive Board of the Societe Generale Bank Serbia Frederic Coin, FIC Vice President and CEO of Telenor Ove Fredheim and FIC Board Member and CEO of Carlsberg Serbia Group Gabor Bekefi. Head of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Serbia Michael Davenport also participated at the panel.
About FIC: The FIC continues to expand, gathering more than 130 foreign companies, who have invested over EUR 22 billion, contributed to 18.0% of GDP in 2013 and directly employ more than 96,000 people in Serbia, based on further growth and inflow of new members. The main goal of the association is to influence the improvement of business climate in Serbia by making concrete reform proposals and building a business portal for communication with the authorities in Serbia.
FIC is also focusing on promoting solid business ethics and high corporate governance principles within the organization and towards local companies, Government, and other external stakeholders. Through support and active engagement of membership, the FIC has proven to be a strict guardian of the business community interests and at the same time a reliable partner to the Government of Serbia and other relevant stakeholders.