EBRD Praises Reforms, Outlines New Strategy for Serbia

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Serbia has achieved impressive reforms over the past few years, ushering in strong economic growth and record levels of foreign investment, while bringing down inflation from 17.5% in 2005 to under 7% at the end of 2006, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said in its latest document that also outlines a new strategy for Serbia.

However, many challenges remain ahead, including the need to speed up the restructuring and privatization of state enterprises and put in place legislation to improve the business environment, boost competitiveness, and enhance bankruptcy management, according to the document.

The EBRD also highlighted infrastructure development, the energy sector, and municipal growth as areas in need of considerable improvement, especially in terms of affording a greater role to the private sector. The EBRD has poured around EUR 550 million into almost 70 projects in Serbia to date and it pledged additional aid in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank, according to the news agency.

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