The biggest challenge in 2012 will be maintaining the envisaged budgetary deficit, for which reason the Government will undertake saving measures, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic has stated at the opening of the “Business Forum 2012” on the Kopaonik Mountain. This forum has gathered over 500 participants, Government representatives, business people, diplomatic corps and numerous economy experts. Biljana Blanusa reports from Kopaonik.
According to Prime Minister Cvetkovic, due to the deepening of the global crisis, the projection of the economic growth in Serbia has been decreased to 0.5%, so the rebalance of the budget need to be adopted, but it is only possible after the parliamentary elections. On the account of diminished economic activity, the budgetary revenues are also lesser, so the Government will resort to saving measures. The Prime Minister explains it will not impact the pensions and salaries in the public sector, nor will the state go into further debt. Speaking of Government’s results in the past four years, Cvetkovic has stressed that possibly the greatest achievement is the fact that the cabinet has endured for the entire mandate. The forthcoming parliamentary results are the regular ones, which confirms that the political stability has been sustained. Besides that, the biggest step has been made in the implementation of reforms, as verified by the European Commission, which granted the status of a candidate for membership in the EU to Serbia. Despite the crisis, the investments in the infrastructure have been increased, and the Government was also exercising a responsible social policy simultaneously. The macroeconomic stability has been maintained as well, the credit rating of the country improved and the new model of the economic growth defined. Cvetkovic believes that in the forthcoming period the reforms should be continued in the context of European integration, along with capital investments and decrease in the public expenses, ad prerequisites of the economic growth and employment.
Head of the European Commission Delegation in Belgrade Vincent Degert has pointed that granting the candidate status is a clear message from al 27 EU countries that they wish to see Serbia in the European family. He says that the Union sees Serbia as a strategic partner and wants to commence the negotiations on the association as soon as possible, which should happen by the end of the year. In the meantime, it is important to work on improvements in several areas, especially the rule of the law, competitiveness of the economy and structural reforms. Within the panel discussion on the significance of foreign investments for the economic recovery of Serbia, ambassadors from the important foreign trade partner countries have underlined that the candidacy is an additional impulse to new investments, without which there can be no economic development.
Over the next three days, twelve panel discussions will be held within the “Business Forum 2012”, with topics relating to the economic future of Serbia. Representatives of biggest companies that operate in Serbia will present their stances on the current situation and expectations from the Government, while economy experts will debate the trends in the monetary, fiscal, energy and industrial policy. The “Business Forum 2012” on the Kopaonik Mountain will last until march 8, and the organizers are the Alliance of Serbian Economists and Association of Corporate Managers of Serbia.