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Dejan Vukotić, CEO of AOFI – Serbian Export Credit and Insurance Agency

Exports Drive the Entire Economy

For the 15 years since its establishment, Serbian Export Credit and Insurance Agency (AOFI) has achieved successful international cooperation and positioned itself as a market leader and the most reliable credit insurer. This is always important for export-orientated companies, especially in years of crisis like this one

With the aim of overcoming the crisis caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, AOFI has granted a period of suspension on all due and outstanding liabilities to all credit borrowers until the end of the year, after which the borrowers will be offered the possibility of annexing and rescheduling their repayment obligations in 24 instalments.

Serbian Export Credit and Insurance Agency celebrates its first 15 years of operations. How satisfied are you with the results achieved and what makes you especially proud?

The aim of AOFI is to improve the export-orientated economy of the Republic of Serbia, because exports is a driver of the entire economy. During past 15 years of operations we have constantly been at the service of our clients, providing them with the opportunity to utilise and improve their export capacities. We have achieved successful international cooperation and positioned ourselves on the market as the leader and the most reliable credit insurer. We have signed several international cooperation agreements, among which I would single out reinsurance agreements with leaders such as Swiss re and R+W industries.

AOFI has established a moratorium on all receivables with the aim of overcoming the negative impact on the export-orientated economy of Serbia caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. How important is that to your clients?

The Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted a programme of economic measures to support the economy, with the aim of reducing the negative effects of the Covid-19 virus pandemic, “weighing” 5.1 billion euros, which represents half of the annual budget of the Republic of Serbia, or 11 per cent of GDP. This programme is all-encompassing and will greatly help the economy to more easily overcome this global crisis, that has impacted negatively on far stronger economies around the world. Huge fundings have been provided, which will enable – in addition to the continuation of GDP growth after the crisis – the preservation of the level of foreign trade exchanges, i.e. the preservation and growth of the level of exports of the Republic of Serbia.

AOFI participated actively in the implementation of the Serbian Government’s measures to support the economy, aimed at reducing the negative effects of the pandemic

Apart from participating actively in the implementation of the adopted measures, the Agency has brought the decision to establish the moratorium on all receivables, with the aim of overcoming the negative impacts on the export-orientated economy of Serbia.

Considering the situation that has emerged, as well as the fact that exporters face liquidity issues and thus more difficult repayment of their obligations, AOFI, with its the primary role to impact exports growth and provide support to export-orientated businesses, has granted a period of suspension on all due and outstanding liabilities to all credit borrowers until the end of the year, after which the borrowers will be offered the possibility of annexing and rescheduling their repayment obligations in 24 instalments.

This pandemic, which has blocked the entire world, has shown us just how fragile even the most developed economies are. What could we learn from that; what could we change in the future? What should be done in the period ahead in order to preserve the Serbian economy’s exports?

The crisis has brought the problem of collecting receivables to Serbian exporters. Thus, it has emphasised the importance of credit insurance, which is one of the most important products under AOFI products and services range. Credit insurance is the product that can and should enable Serbian exporters to retain their markets and buyers in crisis like this one, but also to try to conquer new markets and thereby improve the foreign trade position of the Republic of Serbia.

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