[Bloomberg] What Serbia needs for stable growth of 5%

This year, up until the beginning of April, Serbia received investments amounting to 1.1 billion euros. The majority of these investments in 2023 came from the European Union, totaling slightly less than half of the overall amount, or around 2.2 billion euros, which is more than the previous year.

Regarding Serbia's competitive advantage over other countries in the region, Dušan Vasiljević, Director of Investments at NALED, highlighted to Bloomberg that Serbia is the largest market in the region. "This works in our favor, and I think we are leveraging it well."

"Recently, we have thoughtfully opened up to the international labor market, which has certainly helped our competitiveness. I would add that the beginning and the end of the story about the drawbacks of doing business in Serbia is that it is not part of the European Union, and that must be our strategic priority. Additionally, we cannot catch up with developed countries in terms of investment; we need to have a vision of where these investments will be in 10 years so that we can do what is necessary now to catch up," Vasiljević says.

When asked what would be beneficial to improve the business environment in the next year, Vasiljević emphasized the importance of comprehensive reform of property rights related to real estate.

"Besides real estate reform, it would be significant to introduce a more flexible model for engaging the workforce, which will be particularly relevant in the construction and hospitality sectors in the coming period. Local governments are ready and interested in implementing artificial intelligence. This requires the whole society and the state to organize around this, including the introduction of programs and procedures that should ensure that the first question for every solution the state introduces is whether AI can be applied," Vasiljević says.

For more on which sectors investors are coming from, the biggest challenges in doing business, and why investors are interested in Serbia, watch the video on the Bloomberg Adria portal.

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