In times when the European Union and its citizens are grappling with global and internal challenges, there is no place for the enlargement process on the list of the top priorities of the new European Commission. Yet that doesn’t mean that the focus will shift away from expectations regarding the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, an improved electoral system and media freedom in Serbia
Although Serbia has for years been living in a state of permanent election campaigning, current developments are adding new steam to political dynamics, thus capturing the attention of the international and national public, and making the upcoming 2020 elections a hotter issue than previous votes. However, political responses are failing to address strategic societal and economic challenges that require the close attention of the incumbent government and political contenders
The announced privatisation of Komercijalna Banka has again prompted the question of banking sector consolidation to emerge among experts and the general public. Contrary to expectations from the beginning of the 2000s, the arrival of global banking groups and conglomerates now seems unlikely, but new market entrants are not excluded
If the export of conventional agriculture products implies wheat and corn, then we have long since learned the lesson that their production contributes little to economic growth and profitable exports. However, if we diversify production, focus on products with higher added value and introduce high standards in production, the possibility exists that we can generate profits on the resources we possess
No one is at ease with the outcome of May’s European Parliament elections. It seems obvious that existing political structures are to be dissolved and new political alliances forged, yet the extent to which the outcome will change how the EU functions is unclear, as is whether the Western Balkan enlargement process will remain firmly on the agenda
In a society where there is a belief that there are “selected taxpayers” with whom there is a discrepancy between reported revenues and acquired assets, there is a justified need for such cases to be investigated. The choice of the way we will do this tells us a lot about the social values we want to promote
Every time we hear that patients in the region have access to much more advanced medicines than us in Serbia, despite paying the same or less than us for healthcare, we wonder what’s wrong with our system. The answer is a complex one
There is no doubt that Brexit, European Parliament elections, discussion of the Multi-annual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and the EU’s internal future are placing discussions of EU enlargement on the back burner, however, Serbia is also falling short when it comes to pushing sincerely for its EU future
As part of the strategy for Serbia’s development and the country’s chance on the international scene, the number one priority and potential that is often mentioned is a knowledge-based economy, highly skilled people and new technologies
This autumn saw American software cloud company Nutanix acquire Serbian- American start-up Frame for 165 million dollars, representing the most expensive acquisition of a Serbian start-up to date. As some believe, if everything goes well, Frame represents the first ‘unicorn’ to come from Serbia. But is this a one-off or a sign of a growing start-up community in the country?
The number of Serbian citizens who rate their personal health as being bad or very bad is twice the average of EU member states. Simultaneously, indicators that could monitor the quality of health, comparable to European and global criteria, are often non-existent or are monitored in Serbia in a way that is incomparable with those parameters
The Ministry of Finance’s announcement that it could consider lowering the tax burden on businesses could have multiple effects on the economy and on employees, depending on how it is tailored. The context of such a measure is not only fiscal, rather any potentially larger intervention in this sphere would also require the reform of pension and health insurance
There are all sorts of barriers preventing foreign investors from enjoying economies of scale while investing in the Western Balkans, though the region does still deliver a solid return on investment. A good-quality workforce, coupled with national and local efforts in Serbia to improve the business climate, result in German companies being eager to expand and reinvest
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.
One topic clearly stood out as the unifying factor mentioned at all KBF panels as a game changer – digitisation. One could find numerous reasons why digitisation is in focus. In the view of the FIC, the key reason is that digitisation could turn out to be a universal recipe for treating the two biggest challenges in Serbia
One word – digitisation - resonated during this year’s Kopaonik Business Forum, both in panels and in informal discussions. We could hear that businesses, the media, governments etc. all should go, or are already going, digital