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Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights

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Mark Graham Professor, Oxford Internet Institute

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News

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Patrizio Dei Tos, President Of Confindustria Serbia

Encouraging Changes Made

Serbia should focus on the further development of infrastructure and the development of the energy sector, with a focus on renewable energy resources, as well as the digitalisation of the economy. This is the only way to grow together!

Both the Covid-19 pandemic and global economic slowdown imposed numerous challenges on the world, such as supply chain disruptions, fluctuating demand, financial strain and inflation, particularly for SMEs. “Notwithstanding the aforementioned, our association did a great job under these challenging circumstances,” says Confindustria Serbia President Patrizio Dei Tos.

Confindustria Serbia has a clearly defined strategy that encompasses several key aspects and has been yielding results its members for years. “First of all, our interaction with Confindustria Italy and Confindustria Eastern Europe is at a very high level. On the other hand, operating on the territory of Serbia gives us the possibility to cultivate excellent relations with the Italian Embassy in Serbia. However, in order to create business for our members, me – in my capacity as president of Confindustria Serbia – and my team are more than happy to promote very close cooperation with Serbian institutions,” says our interlocutor, adding that this sends a strong message to all new potential investors that they can expect flexible support for their business from Confindustria Serbia.

What key initiatives or strategies will you prioritise during your presidency in an effort to enhance human resources and education, the agricultural industry, transport and logistics, and supply chains in Serbia?

On the margins of the Italy-Serbia Business and Science Forum held this March, Confindustria Serbia signed a MoU with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia that committed us to promoting dual education and enabling young people to acquire the work placement practice they need at Italian companies, while still studying.

I must add that our association participates in the SMEs Open Doors Day initiative every year. We had a major event in Subotica last November, at which our members showed the practical value of the dual education system, and I am pleased to announce that we are already preparing this year’s event.

The industrial sector in Serbia needs to overcome several challenges in order to remain competitive and sustainable. Companies must invest in technology and skills in order to internationalise their operations

We have also established collaboration with Third Belgrade Gymnasium [High School], with the aim of promoting the concept of entrepreneurship among the youth. Through a series of gatherings, we endeavoured to illustrate the realisation pathway for a business idea. From my perspective, wherever there is business, there are also innovation and development, but also the creation of wealth and welfare. And this is the reason why we, as entrepreneurs, are clamouring for adequately prepared human capital just in order to be able to confront the changes together.

We organised a very successful conference last September, together with the Slovenian Business Club and the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, on the future of global supply chains. This conference provided for an open dialogue on the overall impact of the pandemic and current geopolitical events on worldwide logistics. The relevant speakers also discussed issues relating to new rules in business and infrastructure, the current HR management approach, new technologies and specific situations confronting industry. Considering the topic’s positive impact and importance, we decided to make this an annual event and are now preparing a new edition for October 2023.

How do you perceive the current business environment in Serbia?

As far as I’m concerned, the situation has improved significantly over the past few years. Serbia has implemented various economic reforms with a view to creating a more business-friendly environment. This includes simplifying the tax system, reducing bureaucracy and improving access to credit for SMEs. The government has introduced many incentives to encourage foreign companies to invest in Serbia, such as tax breaks and streamlined procedures.