Andreja Pavlović Executive Director of the Nordic Business Alliance

The Nordic Model Is an Inspiration for All Our Activities

The core values and vision of the Nordic Business Alliance remain intact to this day, and our agile roots allow us to go back to basics whenever necessary

We are pleased to say that we today have a very lively and changing Nordic business community in Serbia. In the meantime we’ve established partnerships with different stakeholders, worked to promote many initiatives and participated in projects that are vital to representing Nordic interests, values and norms.

The Nordic Business Alliance is a local organisation, a grassroots initiative with an evolutive development model. Our founders are companies from the Nordic private sector in Serbia. We don’t have a network of international organisations to depend on, but I would stress that this background is one of the key advantages allowing us to respond to the challenges of being a business sector coordinator in an emerging market. Our core values and vision remain intact to this day, and our agile roots allow us to go back to basics whenever necessary. I would like to present not only our insight regarding the local markets from the Nordic perspective but also the broader picture of a very lively and changing Nordic business community in Serbia, all the while representing the viewpoint that most of the lessons learned here are applicable to any emerging market, from Ukraine to China.

The Nordic Business Alliance functions as a partner to the public sector. We support transparent and just regulations and have a watchdog function on the execution of policies important to our member companies and the wider business community.

We are here to provide value to our community, whilst being a force for the transformation of the wider business community, using the Nordic model as a base and the inspiration for all our activities

Since the beginning of my tenure as executive director of Nordic Business Alliance in Serbia, we have organised numerous panel discussions with the prime ministers and ministers of the Government of Serbia to address trending business topics, whilst also being there to follow up with project activities that emerged as a direct continuation of the noted meetings. We initiated a “Nordic Taskforce”, in partnership with the embassies of all Nordic countries in Belgrade, for the purpose of supporting transparent and efficient public procurement in Serbia. We are in the process of initiating new Nordic task forces on other topics of importance. We initiated a joint effort of private sector stakeholders in the area of philanthropy, in order to receive an obligatory legal interpretation on tax return policy from the Ministry of Finance, which resulted in more widespread use of the article of the Law that allows refunds and incentives, which in return increased the net amount of funds collected in Serbia that are to be donated to various needy recipients.

In a different sector, we have initiated the reform and digitalisation of the application procedure for the compliance of clinical studies, which led to the optimisation of administrative processes and the shortening of the average time for the completion of procedures from nine to two months. As a result of this, we increased the relevance of Serbia as a location for clinical trials, leading to manifold increases in investments in this area of the healthcare sector in the period of just one calendar year. Another role I would highlight is the one we have as the acting main partner for the foreign direct investment of West Pharmaceuticals Services, Inc. in Kovin (Serbia) for a potential incoming high-tech manufacturing plant of medical devices.

We see our background of a grassroots initiative with an evolutive development model as one of the key advantages that allows us to respond to the challenges of being a business sector coordinator in an emerging market

Our bottom line is that we are there to provide value to our community, whilst being a force for the transformation of the wider business community, using the Nordic model as a base and the inspiration for all our activities.

Our values, business culture and approach is what makes us different, and our mission has been to present what we do as a good model for all interested parties to follow, both in the private and public sectors. Our vision led us to a very vibrant community that has established itself among the most relevant private sector players in Serbia, and we will be here to present our case with the wish that our grassroots initiative will be an inspiration for similar organisations in markets that would benefit from our experience and approach.