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Jelena Knežević, Partner, LeitnerLeitner

Maintaining High-quality Standards

LeitnerLeitner offices work together closely and across borders – a principle that has been put into practice for more than 60 years. They think ahead with the aim of realising viable, innovation solutions for their clients

In order to enhance potential in the post-pandemic world, we should be prepared to react proactively and work together to build a more competitive business – maximising the strong side of our economy and minimising the weaknesses.

How important is it in your work that your offices work together closely and that you have excellent relations with consultancies?

Our staff’s expertise and integrity play a decisive role. This rapid transfer of knowledge ensures that clients have the combined knowhow of our entire company at their disposal at all times. The areas of tax, audit and financial advisory harbour a variety of challenges, so it is very important to have an experienced expert at hand with whom you can discuss your individual topics at eye-level.

We also cultivate close personal – and tried–and-tested professional – relations with a number of renowned consultancies.

In this way, we can eliminate countryspecific risks and identify the best possible solution, even in complex situations. We strongly consider the outstanding technical skills of our team and high quality of LeitnerLeitner services as being key factors of our success in Serbia. Our consistently high-quality standards have also helped us achieve success and constantly increase our locations in the CEE and SEE regions.

I am particularly proud that Leitner- Leitner, as a team, successfully overcome all challenges placed before us, whether from a legislative perspective and continuous amendments to legislation, or from the perspective of challenges related to the pandemic and the normal course of business.

We strongly consider the outstanding technical skills of our team and high quality of LeitnerLeitner services as being key factors of our success in Serbia

Judging by FDR inflows, it seems that our country enjoys great trust and a good reputation around the world. Do you think this trend will be sustained?

LeitnerLeitner has numerous multinational clients who have already made huge investments in Serbia, while there is a significant number of those that are planning to launch new investments. Also, statistically, more than half of all FDI in the Western Balkans from 2010 to 2019 was made in Serbia, representing the highest amount in the entire CEE region. Serbia has taken important steps to implement the reforms necessary to attract both foreign and domestic investors, giving Serbia strong potential to maximise efforts to entice new investments.

We are all part of one system and the problems of one impact on others – that’s why the business sector has to be united and active in legislative, fiscal and tax changes.

The IT sector expanded during the pandemic and currently contributes almost as much to the Serbian economy as agriculture. Does this mean that it pays off the most to invest in these two branches of the economy?

Throughout the pandemic, the IT sector expanded as a percentage of Serbia’s economy and global corporations have begun investing in the tech sector in Serbia. Together with agriculture, production and the automotive sector, ICT is becoming one of the pillars of the Serbian economy. Serbia ranks 40th on the list of the biggest software exporters globally.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how important food security is to all countries. Serbia stood out as a country with high independence and an excellent performance in the agriculture sector: production levels didn’t drop despite the state of emergency and lockdowns, while record results were also achieved in production and exports. With export growth of more than 14%, Serbia has also established itself as a regional leader in the agriculture sector. The further objectives should be to continue recordbreaking production in the agriculture sector and achieve even better results through raw material processing and the defining of a finance programme for production.

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