Serbia’s GDP grew at a rate of 4.9 percent in the first half of this year, Finance Minister Sinisa Mali said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a gathering devoted to a program of economic reform from 2019 to 2021, Mali said that foreign direct investments stood at 1.4 billion Euro in the first six months of 2018, adding that the budget surplus stood at 49.1 billion Dinars in the same period with an unemployment rate of 11.9 percent in the second quarter.
The government is planning to introduce measures to help the growth of the private sector, reduce the gray economy, complete the reform of the public administration, state-owned companies and financial institutions. He said the government expects chapter 17 economic and monetary policy to be opened in the pre-accession negotiations with the European Union.
EU Delegation chief Sem Fabrizi told the meeting that Serbia is going in the right direction in terms of meeting required criteria to become an EU member, recalling that this means a functional, viable market economy among other things. “The reforms have had a positive effect,” he said.
He said Serbia still has to reduce its public debt, increase public investments, balance the budget, reduce the amount of NPLs, increase investments in the energy sector, implement labour market reforms and complete the privatization process.
Fabrizi said the Serbian government should be ambitious in drafting its programmes.