The set of measures for the recovery of the economy, adopted by the Government of Serbia, entails a substantial amount of money for companies, including German small and medium enterprises which operate in Serbia, as stated by Christian Braunig, a member of the Managing Board of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia).
– We rate very positively the fact that the Serbian government has reacted and supported the economy and the companies, which suffer due to this crisis – Braunig, who is also a director at Confida Consulting, told Tanjug.
He says that the government`s measures are rational and that the planned EUR 5.1 billion will really help the Serbian economy, but points out that it`s very important to act efficiently.
He explains that, in addition to adopting a legal framework for helping companies, it is important for it not to be such that companies cannot get the required funds easily.
He points to the example of Germany, where, he says, a large budget for aiding companies has been set aside, but they find it difficult to get the money and the guarantees for liquidity loans.
– It`s good that the Serbian government took into consideration the experiences of other countries, which can be a big advantage, as mistakes can therefore be avoided – Braunig believes.
It`s important to enable companies to get help quickly, so, in addition to the size of the program, it`s even more important for it to be efficient.
He still notes that it will all depend on the duration of the coronavirus crisis and on how much money will be needed.
– We believe that this is substantial help, considering the total budget of Serbia – Braunig emphasized.
When asked about the problems that German companies are experiencing in Serbia at the moment, he says that the members of AHK Serbia are mostly export-oriented and that what makes it more difficult for them is that the borders are closed.
Braunig says that the transport of goods is still allowed, which is important at this moment, but that the borders are closed for certain goods everywhere in Europe and that this is why the most affected German companies are those that manufacture medical products.
When asked whether German companies in Serbia are firing their workers due to the crisis, he says that in the past years, German investors have invested a lot in having good workforce and that they are trying to keep their well trained workers, as the crisis will pass one day.
He says that it is difficult to predict what the business climate will be like in Serbia once the crisis is over, but that the announced measures will also be important for German suppliers in Serbia which belong to the sector of small and medium enterprises.
Braunig also points out that the envisaged measures should be implemented as soon as possible, so as to enable the liquidity of companies.
AHK Serbia also expects to cooperate more strongly with the Serbian government after the crisis and for the bureaucratic barriers to business to continue to be removed.