History and Mission
FIC was founded in 2002 by 14 major foreign investors in Serbia with the support of the OECD Investment Compact SEE. Official Foundation Meeting was held on July 15 2002.
To maximize results, FIC developed various forms of dialogue with the Government – on the highest level to promote views at the official meetings, but also on the expert-level through roundtables and special meetings with the state administration to clarify and resolve concrete issues.
White Book project was launched in 2003, as a collection of comprehensive recommendations for improving business conditions in Serbia and a transparent platform for dialogue with the authorities. Due to its high quality and relevance, White Book now represents FIC flagship project with significant impact on the legislative changes.
FIC engaged in a Regulatory Guillotine Project for abolishing unnecessary regulations in 2009 by submitting 119 recommendations, out of which more than 30% were implemented. FIC view is that this project should be re-launched in order to finalize this important task.
First Reality Check Conference, high level event aimed at evaluating the progress in pursuing reforms, was organized in 2010. This FIC event brings together chief executives of FIC member companies and high Government officials, with selected group of diplomats as guests.
White Book Launch in 2012 was also the occasion to celebrate a decade of successful functioning. On that occasion short movie about FIC was presented, recounting history of FIC, its growth and main achievements.
FIC members are a driving engine of the Serbian economy: over 120 foreign companies, over EUR 35 billion of investments and more than 100,000 directly employed – that is the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) today.
FIC mission is: “To actively promote and develop predictable, competitive, and
From its beginnings FIC channelled its work through working committees, specialized for specific fields or cross-sectoral issues. By 2004 number of committees peaked to 16 to cover vast range of FIC fields of interests. Majority ceased to exist afterwards, leaving room for the consolidated and stable system of active working committees that are now at the core of FIC advocacy. Currently, FIC has 8 committees, 2 sectoral and 6 cross sectoral. Legal and HR Committees, active since FIC foundation, continued to work. Taxation Committee was re-established in 2008, followed by the formation of Telecommunications and Real -Estate Committees in 2009. Food and Agriculture and Leasing and Insurance Committees were established in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The Anti -Illicit Trade Committee was established in 2014. Digital& E-Commerce Committee was established in September 2016. Infrastructure & Industrialization Committee was established in March 2017, Pharma Industry Committee was formed in September 2018, while latest Committee in a row Financial Services was established in June as a part of committees reorganization while Leasing & Insurance Committee ceased to exist. For more info see separate page dedicated to Committees.
sustainable business environment, through open dialogue with the Authorities and other relevant stakeholders”.
FIC is a voice of business community, established with the goal to make Serbia’s economy more attractive for investments by simplified rules and increased predictability. Promoting solid business ethics and high corporate governance principles is also high on FIC agenda.
FIC key principles are:
- Independance: promoting common views of members, not group/individual interests
- Financial independance: financing through membership fees
- Promoting EU values & standards
- Promoting predictability and level playing field
- Promoting transparency
- promoting legal certainty (rule of law)
More concretely, FIC goals are:
- To improve business climate by concrete reform proposals
- To drive more predictability and harmonization with the EU legislation
- To advocate for further liberalization, endorsement of market economy principles and removing bureaucracy and other barriers for business
- To promote principles of good business conduct and sound business ethics
- To promote good practice from EU and other foreign markets where members operate
- To share best practices of FIC companies
- To develop strategic communication, co-operation and permanent dialogue with Serbian authorities on all levels
- To link with all relevant stakeholders and proactively share views and suggestions of the Council
- To communicate with other foreign investors’ organizations across the region of Southeast Europe, in order for all sides to benefit from shared common practice exchanges, as well as to examine specific methods for the improvement of regional business
- To the extent possible, to promote Serbia as investment location by sharing knowledge about the business climate in Serbia