Digital acceleration holds great potential for the development of Western Balkan countries

NALED has declared 2024 as the year of digitalization and artificial intelligence as drivers of reforms for all Western Balkan countries. According to NALED members, the priorities for the new Government of Serbia should be the improvement of conditions for the development of eGovernment and eBusiness, the encouragement of construction and investment, and the implementation of the green agenda, stated NALED's Board President, Vladislav Cvetković, at the ceremonial session concluding the organization's 18th annual Assembly.

- We will pay special attention to property-legal issues and solving decades-old problems such as legalization and old land registry cases, which will open the way for more investments. We will continue to support domestic entrepreneurs and innovators. We will work on supporting the introduction of broadband internet in rural areas, improving information security, digitalizing healthcare, and further developing electronic services for citizens and businesses," emphasized Cvetković.

The President of the Serbian Assembly, Ana Brnabić, highlighted that the state will remain committed to important reforms, with many tasks ahead.

- We will work together on a new list of priorities to implement all those complex and demanding initiatives that NALED has been advocating for many years," said Brnabić.

The Minister of Economy, Adrijana Mesarović, stated that one of the main priorities of the new Government of Serbia is raising the living standard of citizens through the development of the business environment.

- Foreign direct investment inflows during the first quarter of 2024 amounted to 1.1 billion euros. NALED is our important partner in further developing the business environment. We are dedicated to developing the Serbian economy and continuously listening to the needs of the domestic economy," said Mesarović.

Serbia has implemented significant reforms in the construction sector, which Montenegro will follow in the coming period. With NALED's support, we will initiate the process of introducing an e-construction permit system, announced the Minister of Spatial Planning, Urbanism, and State Property of Montenegro, Janko Odović.

- Two key initiatives in Montenegro are the comprehensive reform of our cadastre system and electronic permit issuance. We recognize that cadastral data form the backbone of efficient eGovernment and business operations. Our efforts to modernize this system are driven by the need for greater transparency, efficiency, and quality in data management," explained Odović.

Goran Samuel Pešić, executive director and president of the Samuel Group, was also a guest at the NALED Assembly, who spoke about the cooperation between Serbia and Canada, as well as the importance of the digital transformation of the Serbian economy. He pointed out that he expects the arrival of domestic companies in Canada, which can be their gateway to the markets of North America.
- The flourishing of the IT sector in Serbia has attracted the attention of Canadian business leaders. Serbia is a source of digital innovation, technical expertise and economic potential - said Pešić.

In the past year, NALED has been involved in more than 40 projects to improve the business environment. As an independent public-private association, NALED brings together over 350 members from businesses, local governments, and civil society organizations. Along with membership from the civil sector and local associations, it represents an additional 22,000 small businesses from Serbia.

NALED Arrow Awards for contribution to economic development

At the 18th Assembly, NALED traditionally presented the NALED Strela awards to key partners from the international community for their contribution to the economic development of Serbia and the region. Swedish Ambassador Anika Ben David received the award for her outstanding contribution to transforming Serbia into a sustainable and responsible society. The recognition for fostering dialogue and cooperation in the Western Balkans was given to the Minister Plenipotentiary of the Croatian Embassy, Davorka Velecki-Čičak.

Support from members and partners

We thank all of our members, donors and partners from the international community for the contribution in guiding the organization's work, and the support in implementing initiatives for more transparent, greener and steadier business conditions in the country and the region.  

Special gratitude goes to our members whose support made NALED banquet possible - the event sponsors, companies - British American Tobacco, Coca Cola HBC and Lafarge, JP Post of Serbia and the City of Niš, as well as friends Accreditation Body of Serbia, The Export Credit and Insurance Agency, companies AIGO, Alta bank, MediGroup, Steel Impex and the City of Šabac.

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