An investment of 6 billion euros for closer ties with the European Union’s Single Market, harmonization of reforms for economic resilience, as well as a good opportunity for accelerated integration in the EU – these topics stood out during the presentation of this year’s edition of the White Book.
The Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret, emphasized that the Foreign Investors Council – the author of the White Book – is an important partner in improving the Serbian economy, and that the White Book is a manual for a better business environment, with a strong focus on EU integration.
„Enlargement has resurfaced to the top of the EU’s agenda and there is a growing sense of urgency in the EU to make the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and other aspiring countries happen. We as a credible and long-standing partner of Serbia have sent a clear message that we will be ready for an enlarged Union, as confirmed by the EU leaders via the Granada declaration“, Giaufret said.
The ambassador also emphasized the importance of the new growth plan for the region, which, among other things, should bring the Western Balkans closer to the EU Single Market. For these purposes, the EU proposed an investment package of 6 billion euros, of which the grant would amount to two billion, and four billion would be alocated through loans.
“The EU is by far Serbia’s most important trade partner, and nearly 300,000 people in Serbia are employed by companies from the EU, so the positive effects of the reforms are clear, as well as the path to European integration. Through the new growth plan, these positive effects will be multiplied and show concrete benefits from EU membership”, said Ambassador Giaufret, and concluded that it is up to Serbia to use the opportunities accession offers.
Director of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC), Aleksandar Ljubić, said today, presenting the White Book 2023, that the greatest performance was made in the energy sector, fiscalization, customs, employment of foreigners and consumer protection.
He stated that 60 percent of investments in Serbia come from the European Union and that it is possible to increase investments from the EU.
Last year, Serbia had 4.4 billion euros in direct foreign investments, and the data for this year are also good and show that in 10 months there were 3.4 billion euros of investments, said Ljubić. When it comes to suggestions for negotiations with the EU, he pointed out that it is necessary to harmonize domestic regulations with standards.
Dubravka Đedović Handanović, Minister of Mining and Energy, Jelena Begović, Minister of Science, Technological Development, and Innovation, Tomislav Momirović, Minister of Domestic and Foreign Trade – also attended the White Book 2023 launch.
The White Book, written by FIC members, is the major product by which, for last two decades, the FIC gives recommendations aimed at improving economic growth and better living standard of Serbian citizens.