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H.E. Narinder Chauhan, Indian Ambassador to Serbia

Training In India Is Very Useful For Serbian Officials

Indian companies are looking at privatization opportunities in Serbia including in agro-machinery and pharma. At the same time, NALED has done a lot in the last decade to improve the business environment, growing ties between business leaders of India and Serbia and contributing to the traditionally good relations between Belgrade and New Delhi

India-Serbia bilateral trade and investment flows are unfortunately still below potential so far, but there are signs that bilateral economic exchanges will grow in the coming years as businesses on both sides identify major partnership opportunities.

Name three concrete reasons that spurred your interest in cooperating with NALED?

We have recognized NALED’s goal to improve the business environment through institutional reforms and its active engagement and cooperation with businesses, local governments and citizens.

The Embassy and NALED have steadily built up cooperation, disseminating information about Indian business events to NALED members and their participation. Then NALED is active in facilitating meetings of visiting Indian businesses with Serbian companies.

We have also successfully cooperated in spreading the word on the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC), of which many NALED members have availed themselves.

What is the Indian Government’s motive for offering free training to civil servants and NGOs in Serbia, and why is continuous education important, especially in the public sector?

The civil service is the backbone of a state and the continuous improvement of professional knowledge and skills is a formal requirement for all civil servants. In Serbia’s case, this goal includes effectiveness and efficiency in the process of EU integration.

How can your country help Serbia to develop e-government? What can e-government do to change the work of the administration, and how has it improved the competitiveness of your country?

Every country has to define its own vision for e-government depending on its priorities, resources and circumstances. India’s flagship programme, Digital India, aims at transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy by leveraging IT as a growth engine of the new India. Government services are available to citizens electronically and the focus is on providing high-speed internet services and making services transparent and available on a real-time basis.

India can play an important role in developing e-government in Serbia. We can share the vision, approach, strategy, implementation methodology and management structure needed for developing and evolving e-government. Signing a bilateral MoU on IT & Electronics will ensure enhanced cooperation in the field of e-government. Serbian nationals can benefit from ITEC training.

India can play an important role in developing e-government in Serbia. We can share the vision, approach, strategy, implementation methodology and management structure needed for developing and evolving e-government

What does our country need to improve to attract more investment from India, and what sectors hold the greatest potential for FDI?

While India-Serbia bilateral trade & investment flows are still below their full potential, there are signs that bilateral economic exchanges will grow in the coming years as businesses on both sides begin to identify major partnership opportunities. Indian companies are looking at privatization opportunities in Serbia including in agro-machinery and pharma. Sectors for enhancement of bilateral trade include retail medicaments, metals, petroleum, bio-technology, agro and agro-chemical, petrochemicals, personal care, Ayurveda and herbal products, among others.

ICT and renewable energy are also sectors with the potential for joint projects. Other potential sectors for Indian FDI can readily be identified as pharmaceutical, chemicals and fertilizers, waste management, agro and agro-processing, power, construction and infrastructure, or mining and metals. Economic delegations from Serbia could visit India to familiarize themselves with the Indian market and invite Indian industry to invest in Serbia.

In the coming months, we look forward to an exchange of high-level visits and the robust participation of Serbia at ‘India- Europe29’ Business Forum, GRAM 2016, and Vibrant Gujarat 2017.

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