The Foreign Investors Council in Serbia (FIC) marked 20 years of operations with a ceremony held at Hyatt hotel.
At the event awards for cooperation in the past two decades were awarded to the Government of Serbia, the head of the EU Delegation in Serbia, Emanuel Giofre, and the founders of the Council.
FIC Vice President Ana Govedarica pointed out that in 20 years of work, the Council has grown from 14 founding companies to 120 members.
“Those 14 companies had a clear vision 20 years ago to do business in Serbia and change it for the better, so that it would be a great place for investments,” Govedarica said, adding that the Council had changed in the meantime, that Serbia had changed dramatically, as well as that the world is changing:
“We have 120 companies, 36 billion euros of investments, we employ over 100,000 people, with the clear goal of improving Serbia and making it an even better place for investment.”
The head of the EU Delegation in Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret, said that the Council has made great progress in the last two decades of activity in Serbia and emphasized that since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, business has been taking place in completely different geostrategic circumstances, and with changed priorities.
As he indicated, from that moment the strategy of long-term investments is based on the creation of conditions for security, peace and prosperity of European countries.
EU Ambassador Giaufret also reminded that Serbia and the other countries of the Western Balkans are integrating into the European economy, but that the European Commission wants to see that Serbia follows EU policy in relation to Russia and the Ukrainian crisis.
Minister of Information and Telecommunications Mihailo Jovanović, who was the recepient of the award on behalf of the Government of Serbia, said that the FIC has always been a reliable partner and often a guide of the Government of Serbia in finding the best solutions for creating the best business climate for investment.
“Your suggestions are of great importance to us, especially those from the White Book, which will often by themselves improve the climate for investments and the quality and life of our citizens. We are satisfied that we are raising our successful cooperation to a higher level, considering that in the formation of the Working Group for the implementation of the objections from the White Book is underway,” said Jovanović and stated that the Government and the Council do not agree on everything, but that they will discuss everything in order to reach the best solutions:
“I am sure that our cooperation will be even more successful in the next 20 years and that the Council will remain the initiator of changes, making Serbia a place of overall social and economic progress”.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović, Minister of Health Danica Grujičić, Minister of Foreign and Internal Trade Tomislav Momirović, US Ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill and representatives of Council member companies.