Serbia drops five places in WB's Doing Business report

Serbia drops five places in WB's Doing Business report

Serbia drops five places in WB's Doing Business report Izvor: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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The World Bank (WB) has said on Wednesday that Serbia holds the 48th position in the Bank’s latest Doing Business report for 2019 which is a fall from the 43rd place the country was at last year, N1 reported.

Serbia’s Government is not happy with the new rating and Zorana Mihajlovic, the Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, said she believed the country could do better.

“Of course we are not satisfied. We started from the 97th place and went up substantially in a few years,” she said.

Last year, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said she expected Belgrade to go up to the 30th place on the 2019 WB Doing Business List.

The WB said the main reason for Serbia’s fall was the faster progress of other countries.

Stephen Ndegwa, the Bank’s Country Manager for Serbia and Thomas Lubeck, Regional Manager at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), praised Serbia for efforts in reforms in many areas and in administration concerning permits’ issuing, adding the country did well at improving the ease of doing business for small and medium enterprises throughout 2018.

However, Serbia’s National Alliance for Local Development (NALED) said a lot had been done, but “the reforms must be faster.”

“The fall on the list is not a big step backwards, but is a warning that we have to be swifter,” Slavko Caric from NALED said.

He added that some reforms Serbia implemented were not done in time to come to the list. On the other hand, he said, in some areas, there were no reforms at all.

Serbia recorded the best position in issuing construction permits, but one place down from the last year's 10th. The worst performance was in power system connection, where Serbia dropped to the 104th from 96th place.

According to the overall ease of doing business, the best ranking regional country is Macedonia which is placed 10th, followed by Kosovo (44), Serbia (48), Montenegro (50), Croatia (58), Albania (63) and Bosnia (89).

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