Chamber Trade Sweden hosted the Swedish Serbian Business Forum together with the Serbian Embassy in Stockholm on February 2nd, 2015 at United Spaces.
Serbia’s new Prime Minister, Mr Aleksandar Vučić, gave a very frank picture of the problems and opportunities that Serbia faces. Serbia’s new government is said to be East Europe’s most progressive on implementing economic reforms and this may be well needed to get the state finances in shape and business productivity to take off. Serbia has a young well-educated workforce that can be a great asset for foreign companies investing in the country. Serbia faces the same challenges as Sweden and the rest of Europe – to kick-start innovation and entrepreneurship and getting small businesses to grow. The Serbian government has clearly marked out the path towards EU membership and the country formally began its negotiations with the EU on January 1st, 2014. The Minister of Finance, Mr Dušan Vujović presented his plans for fiscal consolidation and the privatization of state-owned enterprises. Mr Vujović is a professor in economics and has extensive experience on economic reforms from his many years at the World Bank. The President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce CCIS, Mr Marko Čadež, presented recent positive economic development in the country. Serbia has developed good trade relations with both Russia and the EU, making Serbia a gateway between East and West. The overall impression from the speakers is that Serbia indeed is opening its door to more international business and trade with the world, including Sweden.
Eva Lindström, the new state secretary for the Minister of Enterprise Mikael Damberg, gave the closing words at the seminar by underlining the importance of Serbia’s path to EU membership and Swedish support for this.
Several large companies participated in the seminar including Ericsson, Saab, Scania, Bombardier, Tele2, Alstrom and East Capital. A small round table discussion was held with these companies before the seminar promoting trade and investment.
Chamber Trade Sweden’s CEO Charlotte Kalin, and CCIS President Marko Čadež, signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a framework for increased cooperation promoting sustainable economic growth and private sector development.
Charlotte Kalin was the moderator of the event.