Businesswomen and men are constantly finding innovative ways to deal with the changes that our world is undergoing. They work across boundaries and languages, set politics aside and find ways to work together. They are bridge-builders who create interpersonal ties and link communities ~ Urs Schmid
I am always amazed by the human capacity for innovation and this gives me a great deal of reason for optimism. Think only of how quickly a vaccine was developed during the COVID pandemic! Under stress and with the right funding, scientists from all over the world are capable of great things. Particularly in times of crisis, transformations happen and the current energy crisis may help us to transition more quickly to greener sources of energy. Switzerland is consistently ranked number one in terms of innovation, but I am also very impressed by Serbia’s capacity to innovate. Whether at the Science & Technology Parks, the Institute of Physics – which I visited this year – or other schools and universities across the country, wonderful steps forward are happening each day. Businesswomen and men are also constantly finding innovative ways to deal with the changes that our world is undergoing. They work across boundaries and languages, setting politics aside and finding ways to work together. They are bridge-builders, they create interpersonal ties and link communities.
As a Swiss ambassador, I am proud of the hundreds of Swiss businesses, many of them owned or led by Swiss-Serbian dual nationals, who are quietly developing and diversifying economic ties between our two countries. Switzerland was recently ranked 2nd in the 2022 Economic Freedom Index compiled by the Heritage Foundation. This index looks at indicators such as the rule of law (property rights, judicial effectiveness, government integrity), regulatory efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom), government size (tax burden, government spending, fiscal health) and open markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Serbia is currently in 59th place on this index, but with a positive trend of expanding economic freedoms. I look forward to continuing to work with Serbia in 2023, through our Cooperation Programme, through our Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, through our individual business actors, through scientific cooperation and through our regular political consultations.