ECONOMY

Serbs need more Greek business, says Tadic

The future of Serbia depends on building a strong economy, Serbian President Boris Tadic said yesterday during a three-day conference on Greek-Serbian/Montenegrin partnership, and asked Greek investors to become more active in his country, where more than 200 Greek companies have already invested. «I think we have to do everything we can in terms of stability in the region. Without economic cooperation we cannot achieve political stability for our country and our nation,» Tadic said. Serbia’s strongest point is its 10 percent corporate profit tax rate, the lowest in Europe, along with cheap labor and a multitude of highly skilled workers, many of whom also speak English. Other incentives include a 10-year tax break for investments of 8 million euros or more, government subsidies and tax exemptions. Tadic described Greece as one of Serbia’s chief trading partners and urged Greek companies to increase their investments in all sectors of the Serbian economy. «As president of Serbia, I am going to support all investments from Greece in Serbia,» he said, adding that they include energy, agriculture, banking, engineering, information technology and pharmaceuticals. Greece is the fourth-largest investor in Serbia after the US, Germany and Italy. Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas referred to the broadening of cooperation between the two fellow Balkan states as well as the strengthening of historical and friendly ties between the two nations. «This is our natural continental route toward Central Europe and a key country for cooperation and development in the Balkans, «Sioufas stated, adding, «Although the two countries start from different points, they are today searching for the best ways to develop relations between them and build a solid cooperation base.» The minister reminded that Greece is the first EU country to have a complete action plan for the reconstitution of the Balkans, which provides that nearly half of its budget, i.e. 265 million euros, will strengthen the economic and technical infrastructure in Serbia and Montenegro, while Greek companies have created 20,000 jobs there in the last four years. (Kathimerini, AP)