| |     Ћирилица | Latinica  
Business Environment
Initial deregulation of foreign trade began in December 2000, when the Government cut various administrative barriers. Tariff reform began in 2001 with the passage of a greatly improved Customs Tariff Law. Average tariffs (unweighted) dropped from 14 to 9.4 percent, and the tariffs simplified from 37 to six rates, ranging from 1 to 30 percent. A large number of quotas and licensing requirements was also abolished. Export controls continue on certain agricultural products, and import licenses continue on certain steel products.


The Government of Serbia set an ambitious reform agenda aiming to: improve the regulatory framework for business entry, facilitate the efficient operation of business through modification of the Enterprise Law; improve enterprises' access to finance; and reduce barriers to the efficient exit and redeployment of non-productive assets.

The Government launched a comprehensive reform of business registration at the end of 2002, and plans to complete the process by 2006. These laws would create a unified Serbian business registry that includes all business activities covered under the current Enterprise Law and Law on Private Entrepreneurs. Considerable progress has already been made in achieving the objective of reducing the number of days and costs to register an enterprise.

The authorities have adopted a number of key laws and regulations aimed at creating a legal and institutional framework to support credit transactions and easier access to finance.

Serbia has over 200,000 registered SMEs, including sole proprietorships. A new Small and Medium Enterprise Agency established in 2001 has since formed ten regional SME agencies. A new strategy on SME development was adopted in 2003, and the SME Agency has also been involved in the drafting of flaws on business environment, especially the Law on Private Entrepreneurs.

A labor law passed in 2001 creates the scope for enhanced labor mobility and job creation by simplifying the process of hiring and terminating employees, and by reducing labor costs. A new Law on Employment (July 2003) provides a basis for the reform of the existing Labor Market Bureau and allows for the establishment of private employment agencies.

Print version
Economy of Serbia
Article from Economist
Transition Policies
Business Environment
Financial Sector
Privatization/Enterprise Reform
Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency