Confirmation of the Serbian progress in reforms implementation

On the occasion of today’s press conference, the Ministers in the Government of the Republic of Serbia – Mr. Bozidar Djelic, Mr. Goran Pitic and Ms. Gordana Matkovic – presenting the results of their last international meeting, together declared that during the International donors conference, held in Brussels last November 18th, representatives from 34 countries and 14 international organizations and institutions emphasized the significant achievements in reforms implementation in Serbia, realized since January 2001, both in the domain of democracy improvement and the domain of political life and economy.

Mr. Bozidar Djelic, the Minister of finance and economy, reminded the fact that 3.5 billion euros – of the total amount of 4.6 billion euros granted to Serbia-Montenegro since 2001, have already been agreed, while additional 1.1 billion euros should be for the current of the following year. He also said that a macro-financial support, amounting 545 million euros, is expected from the European Union, as well as a support for the balance of payments, susceptible to transit through the Budget of the Republic – in the amount of 100 million euros. The minister expressed his hope that this amount could be increased by another 200 million euros.

Mr. Djelic said that the extraordinary parliamentary elections shall result by a budgetary funds cutting by 130 million dollars, because of the failing to adopt several reform oriented laws which represented the condition for the approval by the World Bank of a 40 million dollars second installment of credits for the social sector, as well as for the second installment of credits aimed to the financial sector reform. According to his terms, these funds should only be released next year, upon the newly elected Parliament adoption of the said laws.

He emphasized the fact that none of the donators announced a reduction of his support, adding that Sweden already announced it’s support by 2006, while Switzerland announced it’s support even through 2010. According to his estimations, our country shall not lack support, as long as it will be pro-European and reform oriented.

The Finance Minister also said that the effects of this support shall be even more visible in the near future, especially through the European Investment Bank (EIB) 50 million euros loan, for the purpose of the hospitals revitalization in Serbia – which will be signed by the end of the year and expended during next year’s third and fourth trimester.

He explained that the further strengthening of the support has been planned in the domain of local infrastructure improvement through funds allocated to the Agency for the local infrastructure development. Mr. Djelic said that this Agency already received a 14 million euros support from the EU, while the EBRD and the Hungarian Government approved similar purpose credits, amounting respectively 30 and 35 million euros. He added that the EIB also announced a credit, not lower than 30 million euros.

Mr. Djelic said that upon the progressive reduction of international donations support, the domestic and foreign investments should represent the foundation for the future development – the issue that was discussed recently in Paris, on the occasion of these programs presentation. He said that the French company “Bonduel” was interested in a strategic partnership with the Zrenjanin diary industry, emphasizing that this investment shall amount between 15 and 20 million euros, providing for the improvement of domestic dairy products exportations towards the EU.

According to his terms, the “Soufflé” company intents to realize a strategic partnership with one of our breweries, and that this and other similar initiatives for future French investments in our country shall be taken over by the Business Chamber, created last week in Paris.