Japan to support revision of Serbia-Montenegro’s status in OECD

Serbian Minister of Finance Mladjan Dinkic said that Japanese Minister of Finance Sadakazu Tanigaki gave a promise that official Tokyo will support the revision of Serbia-Montenegro’s status in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Dinkic added that Tanigaki also promised to ask the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation and the Japanese External Trade Organisation to endorse investments by Japanese companies into Serbia.

In a statement to Serbian journalists in Tokyo, where the minister is on a multi-day official visit, Dinkic said that at his meeting with Tanigaki, he pointed out that Serbia-Montenegro has an unjustly low status in the OECD, which is hindering investments. He reiterated that Serbia desires a strategic partnership with Japan, adding that production costs in Serbia-Montenegro are lower than in the east-European countries that have already joined the EU.

According to Dinkic, during their meeting Tanigaki praised the Serbian government on the implementation of economic reforms in Serbia.

“The fact that certain strong Japanese companies have shown interest in my presentation is the best indicator that Serbia has succeeded in attracting Japanese investors”, said Dinkic and added that representatives of Japan Tobacco, which currently has 25 factories throughout the world, stated they will seriously consider the invitation to take part in a tender for the sale of the Senta tobacco company, in which the state of Serbia owns a major part of equity.

Japan has helped Serbia significantly with its donations, but there have been few Japanese investments due to Serbia’s former status of a high-risk country. However, the situation is now different since Serbia has accelerated the privatisation process, achieved high economic growth and gained a satisfactory international credit rating, which helped create favourable conditions for serious negotiations, explained Dinkic.

Another thing that facilitated the creation of a good investment climate in Serbia is the commencement of talks on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU, and the impending conclusion of the arrangement with the International Monetary Fund, added Dinkic.

“This is precisely why I am certain that a huge Japanese investment will come to Serbia next year, thus precipitating a domino effect, namely a series of new investments in our country”, said Dinkic.

The costs of running a business in Serbia are lower than in other parts of central and eastern Europe, which also adds to the favourable business climate in Serbia.

Dinkic explained that since central and east European countries have joined the EU costs of doing business there have risen, thus helping to direct the attention of Japanese investors toward Serbia.

Dinkic will leave for Nagoya tomorrow for a business seminar, followed by meetings with representatives of Japanese companies, including the automobile giant Toyota regarding a potential investment in the Serbian economy.

On November 3, which is a national holiday in Japan, Dinkic will visit Japan’s ancient capital city of Kyoto, after which he will go to Osaka where another investment seminar will be held with several companies of the Kansai region, among which is the electronics firm Panasonic.