WB to help with "innovation and entrepreneurship policy"

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic met late on Wednesday with a World Bank delegation, led by Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Cyril Mull.

Source: srbija.gov.rs

The meeting was also attended by Regional Director for South-East Europe and the Balkans Ellen Goldstein and Director of the World Bank Office in Serbia Tony Verheijen, the Serbian government said.

Afterwards the meeting was joined by regional directors of the World Bank for the Russian Federation, the Caucasus, Turkey and Central Asia and the Serbian ministers of finance, economy, and energy and representatives of the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development.

World Bank representatives "expressed readiness to provide assistance to the government of Serbia to strengthen the capacity of the state administration to establish better coordination of institutions and focus on achieving concrete results," the Serbian government said on its website.

World Bank representatives underlined they were "aware of the challenges that appear in managing complex changes that are necessary in order to achieve a sustainable increase of three percent," adding that this institution "will help the Serbian government in the development of policy of innovation and entrepreneurship, which is a necessary step for the transition from growth based on foreign direct investment into functional industries, to the growth based on knowledge and innovation, which will also influence a greater economic growth."

Vucic said that the Serbian government established the Council for the improvement of the information technology sector, which will be based on the creation of conditions for further development of IT business in Serbia, and "suggested holding a joint session of the Serbian government and the World Bank on December 17 , to discuss the results of previous joint work on establishing a functioning and efficient public administration."

World Bank representatives "proposed a new project to support the government of Serbia regarding the implementation of the so-called soft measures (from the Berlin Process) for better market integration in the region."

The participants in the meeting also discussed plans for the structural reform of public enterprises, because representatives of the World Bank expressed concern about the growth of claims of Srbijagas and its further restructuring.

It was suggested to pass a Conclusion that would oblige Srbijagas to implement consistently the policy of collection of debts, and set up joint teams of the Serbian government and the World Bank for boosting entrepreneurship and business skills.

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