The Fair Competition Alliance organized a gathering with members, potential members and partners from the state at the Hotel Metropol. In an informal atmosphere, members and potential members of the Alliance talked with high state officials about current activities and future reform priorities, such as improving the fiscalization system and expanding the scope of cashless payments, increasing business predictability and reducing parafiscal burden, improving inspection oversight, etc.
The gathering was officially opened by the Alliance Chairman and Corporate Affairs Director for Southeast Europe at Philip Morris International Ivan Miletić, emphasizing that the Alliance has been working hard for 8 years to support the Government in improving business conditions.
Jelena Ristic, Vice President of the Alliance and Director for Markets of Serbia, Montenegro and BiH at Mastercard, also addressed the audience, emphasizing that expanding the scope of cashless payments is one of the Alliance's extremely important priorities, which greatly contributes to reducing the shadow economy.
- Research shows that reducing the value of cash transactions by only 10% can reduce the volume of the gray economy associated with cash and up to 2.1% of GDP, which in the case of Serbia would mean a smaller volume of the shadow zone by almost a billion euros. With that intention, we launched the project "National Initiative for Cashless Payments - A Better Way", in order to support greater financial inclusion of citizens and businesses, i.e. their inclusion in financial flows, reduction of the gray economy and faster economic development of Serbia, by encouraging greater use of cashless payments, Ristic explained.
The National Cashless Payment Initiative is a joint project of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Organization for International Cooperation) and Mastercard and VISA, implemented under the auspices of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in cooperation with NALED and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia.
According to her, the project supports the introduction of eFiscalization through the so-called POS program intended for small merchants and institutions that have not accepted card or instant payments so far. In the next three years, 25,000 POS devices will be provided to traders and public institutions, all with reduced trade fees in the first year of use.
The Vice President of the Alliance invited all interested parties to join the POS program and concluded that the Alliance remains a partner of the Government in combating shadow economy not only through this, but also through other reform initiatives.
Since the introduction of e-Invoices was announced, NALED, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and with the financial support of the British Embassy, has organized over 30 educational workshops and trainings for using the new system through the "Small Business Informer" project. In total, more than 2,000 participants from the public and private sectors went through the trainings. The State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Slavica Savičić, thanked NALED and the members of Fair Competition Alliance for their support in the implementation of this important reform, as well as eFiscalization.
- We are already witnessing the first effects of the introduction of a new fiscalization system - better collection of VAT and more effective supervision over the issuance of fiscal invoices. In addition, the application of the electronic invoice exchange system in the public sector is in full swing, which contributes to greater efficiency and reduction of administration costs - Savičić emphasized.
She reminded that the Program for Countering Shadow Economy is about to be adopted, after it passed a public debate and after opinions were collected from all competent institutions. The members of Fair Competition Alliance were the initiators of the first Program for the Countering Shadow Economy, and to date more than 70% of the measures envisaged by it have been implemented.
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