Dialogue for Change Project
In May 2018, the Foreign Investors Council organized its first ”Dialogue for Change” event under new format dedicated to labour regulations in Hilton Belgrade Hotel. The format has been changed purposely compared to events organized in 2017, being now a closed, high-level event which gathered only CEOs of top FIC employers, the Minister of Labour Zoran Djordjevic and Assistant Minister Bojana Stanic.
The main aim of this event was to reach better understanding how to formulate labour regulations which will stimulate employment and at the same time better protect both the rights of the employers and the employees. As an association that promotes EU values and principles, the FIC gives recommendations which should bring EU standards to the Serbian labour market. These entail on one side making business processes more relaxed by streamlining unnecessary administration, but on the other side also improving monitoring and sanctioning of those companies that do not respect the law and rights of the workers. Another important factor is the further development of the education system which can provide quality labour force and thus attract more innovative and technologically advanced industries to the Serbian market.
The discussion with the Minister and Assistant Minister was a strategic one, where CEOs of some of the biggest employers on the market openly shared their personal experiences and opinions. Their key message was that the local labour force represents one of the key advantages of the Serbian market and that there is a great potential to make Serbia one of the most attractive investment destinations.
Both sides recognized that only by investing joint efforts we can make a big step forward in business climate improvement. We all remember 2014 when we all jointly made a big breakthrough in the Labour Law! More relaxed labour regulations coupled with more strict inspection oversight can certainly bring benefits to the country, its citizens and would attract more investments into Serbia.
The Foreign Investors Council launched new event called ‘’Dialogue for Change’’ in 2017 with aim to foster communication on specific regulatory topics. It features a panel discussion between FIC committee chairmen and relevant ministers/ state administration officials, who exchange opinions and ideas. The main goal of this new format is to reach joint conclusions and agree on actions resulting in concrete improvements of the business climate in Serbia.
The audience gathers FIC members and experts from the relevant ministries, as well as representatives of stakeholders, including EU Commission, important international institutions, and other business associations etc. So far, FIC organized 2 events of this type: First ‘’Dialogue of Change’’ in April this year on digitalization & telecommunications and the second on taxes in June.
DIALOGUE FOR CHANGE ON TAXES
In June 2017, the Foreign Investors Council held its second ”Dialogue for Change” dedicated to the tax regulation and implementation, with Tax Administration Director Dragana Markovic and EU Commission representative Reinhard Biebel. Discussion was focused on concrete tax policy measures which can trigger economic growth and which are fundamentally linked to predictability, modernization and consistent application of tax regulation.
The event resulted with the joint conclusion that the FIC and the Government need to deepen their cooperation through timely expert dialogue in which the Government will convey its plans and share drafts of new legislation, and the private sector will say whether these solutions are feasible in the given timeframe and how they will affect business operations and, ultimately, the country’s GDP.
DIALOGE FOR CHANGE ON DIGITALIZATION AND TELCO
In April 2017, the Foreign Investors Council held its first ”Dialogue for Change” dedicated to topics of digitalization & telecommunications, in Metropol Palace Hotel. Together with Minister Ana Brnabic and State Secretary Tatjana Matic, FIC members discussed how to propel digitalization and maximize benefits in the area of telecommunications.
The event resulted with the joint conclusion that the FIC and the Government need to deepen their cooperation to amplify improvements in digitalization and telecommunication sector, as they are important segments of the contemporary business climate. Moreover, the first ‘’Dialogue for Change’’ event, with then Minister Ana Brnabic (now PM) and state secretary Tatjana Matic, proved to be a great success with tangible results since FIC proposal to include m-Government in the draft Action Plan for Implementation of the Strategy for e-Government was accepted at that point of time.