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IFC Supports Digitization Drive to Reduce Burden for Businesses in Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia, February 21, 2018— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Serbian government, in partnership with UK Aid and the British Embassy in Serbia, are launching a project to digitize services to reduce the administrative burden on businesses and improve the country’s business climate.
Over the next three years, the project will help simplify regulations for 1,250 different types of licenses and permits, and create a one-stop shop online to process and issue e-permits for 100 procedures. The process is expected to save around $8 million annually for businesses in Serbia.
“Electronic administration is key to solving the three main problems affecting our public administration: efficiency, transparency, and corruption,” said Ana Brnabic, Prime Minister of Serbia. “The digitization of the country is essential to help us reach these goals and reduce the bureaucratic burdens still slowing business in Serbia.”
New job opportunities created by the private sector are even more crucial in Serbia today as the government has embarked on a series of reforms of state-owned enterprises. The project builds on the current government’s efforts to improve the local business environment and spur the development of the private sector.
“Serbia has been steadily improving its business environment over the past decade,” said Georgina Baker, IFC VP for Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. To drive growth and help create new jobs, this commitment needs to continue, both in terms of improving legislation and increasing the operational efficiency of government agencies, where digitization will greatly help.”  
“By the end of this program, we expect to be able to see a greatly reduced administrative burden for businesses in Serbia, which will help boost the development of the private sector and entrepreneurship, and contribute to the regional prosperity and stability,” said Denis Keefe, the British Ambassador in Serbia.
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
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