Business Enabling Project

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BACKGROUND:

USAID’s Business Enabling Project (BEP) is a seven-year initiative launched in January 2011. The project helps the Government of Serbia (GoS) increase the competitiveness of the Serbian economy and its private sector by streamlining the business enabling environment, improving public financial management, and strengthening financial markets.  Project activities are based on priorities identified by the private sector and the GoS. 

ACTIVITIES:

The project is helping Serbia achieve reforms that will:

  • Reduce legal and regulatory burdens on businesses;
  • Improve macroeconomic policy and public financial management;
  • Deepen financial market development and increase access to finance.

RESULTS:

  • Helped the GOS to adopt the program budgeting methodology. This is an EU requirement that increases transparency and accountability in public finance;  
  • A new Law on Planning and Construction was adopted in December 2014 based on BEP’s recommendations. The law provides for one-stop shops, which will allow investors to communicate with only one government office and will have authority to monitor compliance of public institutions with legal requirements, particularly statutory deadlines;
  • A new Labor Law was adopted in July 2014 based on BEP’s recommendations. This law has made the labor market more flexible and makes Serbia more competitive for foreign direct investments (FDI);
  • A new Inspections Oversight Bill was adopted by the National Assembly in April 2015. This law will establish modern inspections oversight standards and introduce global and European best practices in this field. The Inspections Oversight Law will create an environment that is more conducive to doing business and investing;
  • BEP's comprehensive study and recommendations for improving SME financing were used in the GoS Action plan for implementing the Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness Development Strategy.
  • A total of 138 para-fiscal charges were removed based on BEP’s recommendations, and legal principles were introduced to prevent future ad hoc adoption of fees and charges;
  • A new Law on Factoring drafted with BEP’s assistance has helped increase business liquidity and expand the factoring industry;
  • BEP’s assistance to draft and implement the Capital Markets Law and by-laws contributed to a sound, transparent regulatory framework;
  • BEP helped the Public Debt Authority reduce the risk and cost of borrowing for the GoS through use of better IT tools and enhanced staff capacity;
  • BEP’s analysis and advocacy led the GoS to prioritize the establishment of non-deposit-taking non-bank institutions.
  • The GoS has made tackling the shadow economy one of its key priorities, thanks to BEP's study on Serbia’s informal economy;
  • BEP is working with the MoF and the National Bank to improve collateral valuation: a real estate transactional database is under development, and a working group is drafting national valuation standards and regulations to improve the valuator profession.

Project funded by:

U.S. Agency for International Development; USAID/Serbia

Project implemented by:

Cardno Emerging Markets USA, ltd.

Key counterparts:

Ministry of Economy; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Policy; Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure; Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government; Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications; Ministry of Justice and Public Administration; National Bank of Serbia; Fiscal Council; Securities Commission, H.R. Department; Serbian Association of Banks; Business Associations.

Where we work:

Nationwide

Total amount: $19,479,404

Project duration:

February 2011 – December 2017

Contact:

6, Francuska St, Belgrade

Tel. + 381 (0) 11 73 48 481

Fax. + 381 (0) 11 73 44 421

info@bep.rs

Website: www.bep.rs; www.policycafe.rs

 

 

Last updated: September 24, 2015

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