Serbia to receive $2 billion of foreign investment in 2005

The Serbian government operates successfully and the World Bank marked the country as the leading reformer in the period between September 2004 and September 2005, Serbian Minister of Finance Mladjan Dinkic said today.

The public debt has been three times reduced since 2000. By the end of 2005 Serbia will receive $2 billion of foreign investment and all multinational companies have been moving their regional centres to Belgrade, Dinkic said in today’s issue of daily newspaper “Glas Srpske” interview.

In the last nine months, Serbia has twice received an increased credit rating, a three-year financial arrangement with the International Monetary Fund will be completed in about a month’s time, and there will be some additional write-off of the country’s debt, said Dinkic.

In the economic sense, Serbia is currently moving at the realistic pace: it is paying off its debt to pensioners that was created ten years ago, while pensions have been increased 10.8 percent in the last two months, Dinkic said and rated the results as reasonably good.

He said that it is of high importance for Serbia to have good communication with the world and Republika Srpska (RS) and that it is time the cooperation between Serbia and RS be raised from the level of trade to the level of investment.

Many Serbian companies who have started investing in the countries in the region are also interested in RS, particularly in its food industry, said the minister and announced a visit of a substantial business delegation from Serbia to RS in the spring 2006, with the aim of establishing a new form of economic cooperation.

Dinkic expressed expectation that Serbian companies will take a more active part in privatisation in RS, which would contribute to increased production in its companies and placement of products from RS to the Serbian market, that would also reduce foreign trade deficit of RS.