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Serbo Journal

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Serbia Adopts Platform For Foreign Investment Increase

Serbian Minister of International Economic Relations Milan Parivodic said that the Serbian government adopted a Strategy for Encouraging and Developing Foreign Investment, which represents a highly significant platform for advancing the situation in that area.

Parivodic pointed out that the Strategy projects the situation in foreign investment in the next ten years, but also shows the present situation and the forecast for the next three, six and ten-year periods.

The Strategy deals with some concrete areas of economy and the chances of foreign investment in them. In other words, it gives the desired vision of Serbia in ten years' time, Parivodic explained.

Parivodic said that this important document is a product of more than a year's work of the Serbian Ministry of International Economic Relations, Irish experts, Serbian economists, representatives of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC), the US Chamber of Commerce in Belgrade and all other ministries.

In the vision presented in this document, Serbia is a member of the European Union and has the most dynamic economy in southeastern Europe, based on high technology and know-how; it is a country with high employment rate, constantly growing standard of living and a $10,000 GDP per capita, while Belgrade grows into an economic, political and cultural centre of the region.

The minister said that the general aims of the Strategy are increasing the number and value of new investment in the production and services sectors, facilitating future investment and offering support to investors to accelerate planned investment in Serbia, supporting present investors and facilitating the process of investment, as well as increasing the quality and number of internationally competitive domestic products and services.

The document presents ideas, ways of carrying them out and some concrete projects, Parivodic said.

In fact, the Strategy represents a working document which is just a foundation for great reform, or more precisely, intensification of reforms concerning facilitation and stimulation of foreign investment in Serbia.

Parivodic recalled that according to past reports Serbia achieved significant success, judged by nearly $1.5 billion of foreign investment in 2005.

This achievement has been recognised by both the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, who commended Serbia as leader in implementation of reforms.

He concluded that according to the speed at which Serbia introduced reforms, it can be said that the country achieved absolute success, but there is a lot to be done to improve Serbia's status in that respect. Serbian Minister of Justice Zoran Stojkovic said that the government adopted a Bill on amendments to the Law on the Order of Courts and that these amendments envisage that a certain number of criminal proceedings of minor importance be transferred to the level of municipal courts.

District courts will retain some of their jurisdiction when it comes to appeals, thus enabling courts of appeal as the Second Instance Courts to deal with appeals regarding the most complicated cases.

Stojkovic said that the adopted Decree on establishing a correctional facility is a way of harmonising new laws in the judiciary, such as the Law on Underage Persons and the Law on the Enforcement of Penalties, in order to bring the status of certain correctional facilities in line with the law and the new types of penalties it envisages.

According to Stojkovic, this is of special importance for the so-called prison hospital, which will now become an institution for the medical treatment of prisoners serving the severest punishments.

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