Serbia “deserves respect for achieved so far”, but further reforms in the rule of law and legal certainty are needed if more German investors are to come to Serbia, Winfried Kretschmann, the Prime Minister of German Baden-Württemberg state, has said.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Kretschmann said it was important that small and medium size enterprises, being a German economy backbone, had good working conditions.
“They make up to 75 percent of our economy strength,” added Kretschmann, the PM of the south-western German state, the third largest in terms of size and population with Stuttgart as its capital.
He added he was in Belgrade to help Serbia in the EU accession process, saying he was “convinced that Serbia belongs to the EU”.
His delegation consisted of over 100 people from politics, business, science, civil society and other fields.
Kretschmann particularly stressed the importance of Serbia and Baden-Württemberg cooperation within the European strategy for the Danube region, adding that the Strategy was a signal for cooperation among the states along the Danube river and that it had “a symbolic strength”.
Vucic said he expected Germany to make up to 28 percent of Serbia’s foreign trade in the next three to four years. “That clearly shows Germany as a key country for Serbia,” he told reporters.
“If we are to attract more German investments we have to reduce bureaucracy, to ease conditions for registering companies and build better infrastructure. We have to change a lot at home to make them come here”, Vucic said.
He added that the trade between Serbia and Baden-Württemberg reached 602 million Euros in 2017, with import from the Germany state slightly higher.