ICIP’s Closing Conference

In the future the focus should be on raising the competitiveness of SMEs – this is the main message from the closing conference of ICIP. The project was funded by the EU with 3 million Euros. It lasted 30 months during which was developed and implemented the Standardized set of services for SMEs, the Certification of Business Service Providers and the Entrepreneurial Portal. The beneficiaries of the project, which is evaluated as very successful and sustainable, were the Ministry of Finance and Economy and the National Agency for Regional Development.

“If we have more successful SMEs we raise their competitiveness, as well as the competitiveness of cities and regions that they do business in, but also the competitiveness of the whole country. I think that it is one of the most important things we should focus on in the future”, said the Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance and Economy, Dragijana Radonjić Petrović.

The representative of the EU Delegation Jose Antonio Gomez Gomez said that Serbian companies are focused on competitiveness, rather than on innovation, and to maintain market position and not to be market leaders. Gomez Gomez emphasised that the SMEs are a very important part of the economy and the main element for creating new jobs. He announced that the EU will continue to support that sector.

Director of the National Agency for Regional Development Ivica Eždenci said that we should promote success stories, businesses, municipalities, pointing out that all parts of Serbia follow the same rules and conditions, but that some SMEs are successful, and some not. Eždenci suggested that a Standardized set of services to SMEs should find a place in the budgets of state and local governments, certification of consultants will continue, and with establishing of Entrepreneurial portal remarks of SMEs concerning the availability of information are answered.

ICIP Team Leader ICIP Jurgen Henke said that the project was focused on the availability of quality, comprehensive business support services, building innovative tools and promoting the visibility of support services for small and medium enterprises.

Source: www.icip-serbia.org