On November 16, the United States Agency for International Development USAID, a U.S. government agency, and the Serbian Government, celebrated the achievements of the USAID Business Enabling Project BEP – a seven-year, $19.5 million initiative that has helped make Serbia a better place do business.
“Since the very beginning, USAID supported the construction permitting reform – from the adoption of the Law on planning and construction to joint work with local governments on introducing e-permits. During the past three years, Serbia progressed from the 186th position on World Bank’s ranking, to one among ten best countries in the world in the category of issuing construction permits – which is why this reform should serve as an example for how all future reforms should be carried out,” said Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlović.
“The World Bank Doing Business Report, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report and the Financial Times’s FDI Benchmark rankings all indicate that Serbia is in a better position today,” said U.S. Ambassador H.E. Kyle Scott. “This is supported by improving employment numbers, positive GDP growth, and increasing foreign investments. A better business-enabling environment, which U.S. assistance helped the Government create, has contributed to these positive developments.”
USAID BEP helped the Serbian Government to:
- Develop the new Law on Planning and Construction, introducing reforms that reduced the time it takes to secure a construction permit from 9.3 months to 4.2 months. Serbia is now the 10th fastest place in the world for construction pe
- Develop the new Law on Inspections Oversight, which streamlined business inspections and made it easier and less costly for businesses to comply with regulations. An increased number of businesses moved from the gray to the formal economy.
- Introduce program budgeting that helped the Serbian Government to maintain fiscal discipline, allocate public resources effectively, and deliver pubic services efficiently.
- Remove 138 para-fiscal charges and introduce legal principles to prevent future ad hoc adoption of fees and charges.
- Open its markets to new forms of financing, such as factoring, for small and medium enterprises.