Accelerated reforms, particularly those in the area of improving the business climate, ensure that the opinions of business associations are more important than ever. The increasingly open and constructive dialogue between the government and business leaders, which also resulted in Serbia making continuous progress on the World Bank’s ’Doing Business’ list, compelled us to set aside space in the New Year’s edition of CorD for the comments of presidents of chambers of commerce and organisations, business clubs and associations that bring together members of industry, NGOs and representatives of the local community.
The Kopaonik Business Forum confirmed that the reform agenda has been well established and that it features the most important issues for improving conditions for doing business – the corporatisation of public companies, the development of eGovernment and digitisation, infrastructure, rule of law, education etc
The Government is open to the idea of including the civil sector in its administrative work and unburdening the administration, which is the trend in the developed world. NALED is a positive example, having developed the e-permit software with help from donors and then handed it over to the state. This was a great help, and other organisations are certainly able to contribute to the common good in the same way.
Fostering eGovernment development, NALED has initiated a systematic approach with strong coordination of all stakeholders - the state, businesses and the civil sector - in implementing reforms in this area. Global experiences show that eGovernment can save up to two per cent of a country’s GDP – in Serbia, this amounts to around €600 million a year
For the past fifteen years, I have had the privilege of being engaged in growing civil society in the region and understanding how active and caring citizens gathered together in associations drive the development of their communities and countries