Sitemap

CorD Recommends

More...

Nikolaos Sliousaregko, President of the Management Board of the HBA

New Investment Opportunities

The fact that Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos...

Fanina Kovačević-Popaz, Executive Director of the HBA

Consistency & Innovation

The Hellenic Economic Association of Serbia’s 20...

Slavica Đukić Dejanović, Serbian Minister of Education

We Understand Digitalisation’s Challenges And Opportunities

Serbia is striding towards confronting all the...

Miloš Đuričanin, Director of Strategy and Development at the Nordeus Foundation

The School of the Future is a School of Opportunities

Our vision is to provide children and...

News

Balkan Borders Blur as Free Labor Movement Pact Launches

Marking a significant shift in the labor markets of Southeast Europe, Serbia, Albania, and North Macedonia have forged an...

Serbia Commits €5.4 Billion to Renewable Energy by 2030

Serbia's state-owned power company, Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), has announced an ambitious plan to invest €5.4 billion in renewable energy...

Serbia and Angola Cement Cultural Bonds with New Cooperation Programme

Serbia and Angola have inked a Cultural Cooperation Programme set to span from 2024 to 2026, as announced by...

Serbia Awards Distinctions to Notable Personalities on National Day

In a ceremonial tribute to Serbia's National Day, President Aleksandar Vučić presented awards to a host of esteemed individuals...

Western Balkans Eye EU Membership by 2028

At the esteemed Munich Security Conference, a cornerstone event in global security discourse, leaders from North Macedonia, Albania, and...

Ana Govedarica, FIC Vice President And Spokesperson (Roche General Manager)

We’re Stronger Together

Foreign investments are an important lever of economic development that gain even greater importance under the conditions of the challenges to foreign policy and health that we face today. Export-oriented partnerships between foreign and local companies contribute to the growth and stability of the economy

Over the last ten years, foreign investors – together with domestic ones – have contributed significantly to the unemployment rate falling from 19.3% in 2012 to 9.5% in 2022. FIC member companies alone have invested approximately 36 billion euros and currently employ more than 100,000 Serbian citizens directly.

“Alongside these direct effects, foreign investors have provided an immeasurable contribution to the development of SMEs in Serbia, which represent the mainstay of every economy’s development. Many of our entrepreneurs have become important links in the value chains of major global companies, and not only as suppliers of raw materials, but rather also as suppliers of semifinished products and services.

Many export-oriented partnerships have been created that have resulted in positive effects on Serbia’s overall foreign trade balance,” says Ana Govedarica, FIC vice president and spokesperson and Roche general manager.

“It shouldn’t be forgotten that it was actually partnerships with large corporations that enabled a better credit rating for the domestic SME sector, but also more favourable loan conditions from commercial banks that monitor their operations,” notes our interlocutor. “In parallel with monetary investments, members of the Foreign Investors Council have brought to Serbia, but also permanently advance, something with positive effects that are measured over the long term: the transfer of knowledge and new technological solutions, but also a new corporate culture that’s gaining ever more significance. We are witnessing the new millennial generation taking on a key role in the labour market, and the way they experience companies and careers differs markedly from their predecessors.”

In your opinion, what’s the FIC’s greatest achievement in this regard?

– It could be said that almost all activities of the Foreign Investors Council are directed towards a single goal, and that’s the creation of predictability in doing business and improving the business climate for all market players, regardless of their size and country of origin. We are aware that this is about a continuous process in which the Government of the Republic of Serbia is our key partner, with which the Foreign Investors Council has institutional cooperation through the Working Group for the Implementation of White Book Recommendations.

When it comes to EU integration, the FIC provides strong support to all government bodies working towards strengthening the preparedness of all local companies to compete on the EU market.

How did you manage to maintain dialogue within the FIC membership and with stakeholders and the business community in general during the time when we were all confined to our homes?

– There are many examples of the participation of all sector-specific FIC committees in the shaping of regulations and measures of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, and in a completely neutral way. An important factor of cohesion within the FIC, i.e., among its member companies, is the fact that the Council organises a large number of formal and informal internal activities with which constant communication, both sectoral and intersectoral, is enabled.

Thanks to the FIC Pharma Committee recommendations contained in the last two White Books, a major stride forward was taken with regard to the systemic financing of innovative medicines and the availability of the latest therapies for our patients

This then led to member companies continuing essential dialogue, even during the situation that saw us all confined to our homes – via all the digital platforms that were available – and sharing their experience of running various types of operations under the new circumstances. The crisis situation actually brought our member companies even closer together.

The pharmaceutical industry represents one of the FIC’s eight priority areas. What kind of progress has been achieved in that area and what are your expectations for the next year?

– As someone who comes from the pharmaceutical sector, you won’t begrudge my weakness in singling out the excellent results achieved by the FIC in my own industry. Specifically, the last two editions of the White Book prioritised the need to systemically finance innovative medicines, i.e., central budget subsidies for the budget of the National Health Insurance Fund (RFZO) intended for that very purpose. And I can say that we met with full understanding among all actors – the RFZO, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance. A budget of around six billion dinars was set aside and allocated to finance 26 new medicines/indications from several therapeutic areas (diabetes, oncology, cardiology, haematology, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, psoriasis and haemophilia). The entire process of negotiating and contracting the terms and conditions of financing new medicines was conducted in accordance with criteria established by the Central Commission for Medicines, alongside intensive activities among representatives of the RFZO and pharmaceutical companies, and everything culminated with the concluding of multiple models of special contracts with which the best European practice was adopted.

A major stride forward was thereby taken with regard to the availability of the latest therapies for our patients, while at the same time a new goal was set for the FIC Pharma Committee, and the FIC as a whole, and that is to secure the repeating of the described process every year, which then leads us to a position that’s long since been desired: that we can justifiably say that patients in Serbia are treated in terms of medical therapy in the same way as patients in countries that are more economically developed than ours.

EU INTEGRATION

The FIC provides strong support to all government bodies working towards strengthening the preparedness of all local companies to compete on the EU market

SYNERGY

Many of our entrepreneurs have become important links in the value chains of major global companies, and not only as suppliers of raw materials, but rather also semi-finished products and services, with positive effects on Serbia’s overall foreign trade balance

TECHNOLOGY

In parallel with monetary investments, FIC members have brought to Serbia the transfer of knowledge and new technological solutions, but also a new corporate culture