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Serbia's investment climate improving but red tape, corruption remain - U.S. Dept of State

Author Radomir Ralev
Serbia's investment climate improving but red tape, corruption remain - U.S. Dept of State Source: serbia.com

BELGRADE (Serbia), July 23 (SeeNews) - Serbia’s investment climate has modestly improved in recent years, but bureaucratic delays and corruption continue to pose a challenge, the U.S. Department of State said in a recent report.

"Serbia’s investment climate has modestly improved in recent years, driven by macroeconomic reforms, greater financial stability, fiscal discipline, and a European Union (EU) accession process that encourages legal changes that improve the business climate," the U.S. Department of State said in its 2021 Investment Climate Statements posted on its website.

U.S. investors generally enjoy a level playing field with their Serbian and foreign competitors, the U.S. Department of State said.

"However, challenges remain, particularly bureaucratic delays and corruption, as well as loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs), a large informal economy, and an inefficient judiciary. Political influence on the decisions of nominally independent regulatory agencies is also a concern," the U.S. state department noted.

The adoption of reforms has sometimes outpaced their implementation and digitising certain functions has not yet brought a dramatic improvement in processing times, it added.

"If the government delivers on promised reforms during its EU accession process, business opportunities will likley continue to grow in the coming years. Sectors that stand to benefit include agriculture and agro-processing, solid waste management, sewage, environmental protection, information and communications technology (ICT), renewable energy, health care, mining, and manufacturing," the U.S. state department added.

The U.S. Department of State's Investment Climate Statements provide country-specific information on the business climates of more than 170 countries and economies. They are prepared by economic officers stationed in embassies and posts around the world and analyse a variety of economies that are or could be markets for U.S. businesses of all sizes.

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