Opening remarks by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic at the 16th Serbian Economic Summit.
“Ladies and gentlemen,
Allow me to take this opportunity to welcome you again and congratulate our host on holding, as always, such a well-organized event.
I would like to greet you and express my satisfaction with Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic and President of the Republic of Srpska Milorad Dodik being here with us today.
As you can tell by looking at the agenda, this year’s meeting will discuss numerous topics of relevance for the development of Serbia and the region. As a member of the Serbian Government, I would like to underline that economic growth and macroeconomic stability are among the key, if not the major, priorities of the Serbian Government, pursued by fully adhering to sustainable development standards. In this context, we are open to all forms of cooperation in order to promote economy in Serbia and in the region. By persistently implementing structural reforms, conducting a stable fiscal policy and by promoting investments, the Serbian Government has endeavoured to maintain a quality and attractive business environment to stimulate both foreign and local companies’ investing in projects in Serbia. This, as well as numerous measures adopted by the Government, will take us forward to a lower budgetary deficit, increased exports, and finally, to a reduction in the country’s public debt.
In my capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs, I can underline that Serbia, through its foreign policy dimension, is seeking to live up to its role of a reliable partner and a factor of peace and cooperation in the region which, I believe, constitutes an essential precondition for economic prosperity of any country or region. In this regard, as it continues to embark on its European path, Serbia remains committed to European values and promotion of cooperation, especially in the Western Balkans region and South-East Europe. By cooperating with both countries and international organizations, Serbia contributes to global stability and to vital global projects such as the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The current economic and political situation worldwide has been a major challenge to the development and stability of most countries, including Serbia as well, which has to invest additional efforts to ensure an adequate business environment that would serve as a basis for economic growth and prosperity. Economic instability, military conflicts, natural disasters, migration crisis and terrorism are but a few factors that we need to be aware of when discussing future strategies that, in addition to modalities for overcoming these difficulties, should also include concrete ideas for addressing these issues at global and local levels. In this context, Serbia is open to working with all of its partners on reaching these goals.
During the two days of the conference we will have an opportunity to hear prominent personages from both our country and abroad, public and private sectors, present their views and proposals for promoting the economy and consequently the quality of life of the population in Serbia and the region. I encourage all the participants to use their expertise and creativity to contribute to this goal.
The Government of the Republic of Serbia has a vital interest in stability in the region, since if political stability is lacking in just one part of the region, there will be no investments in the region, either. We need to find a common ground and resolve open issues through dialogue. If our past is the only future for us, there will be no future. It is incumbent upon us to decide how we are going to live tomorrow.
I would like to extend my welcome again to all the participants and wish you every success in your work.