CCIS Council for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises established

Micro, small and medium enterprises will communicate with representatives of the authorities and influence the enhancement of the business environment much more easily in the future through their Council at the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia. The new council will be an additional support to companies in fully developing their potentials, it was pointed out at the constitutive session at the CCIS.

The backbone of any developed market economy is made up of micro, small and medium business entities, which comprise 99% of the business entities in Serbia, but their potential is still underused, said adviser to the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia Nermina Ljubovic. For that reason, the CCIS board decided to constitute the Council for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in order to provide the small business sector with additional support for full development of its potential, it is said on the CCIS website.

– Through this council, we want to open a new channel of communication with business people, to develop a platform through which business people would communicate more easily and quickly with the project leaders and to enhance the business environment – Ljubovic stated at the constitutive session of the council, which brings together 26 representatives of the business community from a wide range of fields.

She reminded that the Law on Chambers of Commerce enabled the economy to influence the defining of legislation important to the economy through the CCIS, as the business association of all business entities in Serbia.

She also said that the CCIS had until then forwarded 163 initiatives of the economy to state organs, 57 of which had been resolved positively, whereas those others would be re-sent, whereby the CCIS will insist on getting answers.

– The most current initiative we are working on is the reduction of salary taxes and contributions from the current 63% to 46% over the next five years, the reduction of the income tax for legal persons from 15% to 10%, the amendment to the Labor Law which would prevent the abuse of sick leaves, and there’s also a range of initiatives for incentives – for successful companies, innovative companies, exporters – Said Ljubovic. Through these initiatives, she pointed out, the CCIS strives to encourage a systematic solution to the biggest problems of the economy, which are the tax system, the grey economy, access to sources of finance and labor legislation.

Assistant minister of labor, Katarina Jovanovic Obradovic, invited representatives of the SME sector to get actively involved in the council’s operations and to talk about the real problems so that the business environment could be improved. The institution’s reach will depend on how involved its members are, Obradovic said and pointed out that the operations of the council should focus on the several most important items when it comes to improving the business. The state administration finds solutions more easily when it is helped by the CCIS in preparing the analysis and presenting the problems.

She emphasized the improving global indicators of the SME sector’s operations, such as the increase in the number of companies and the number of employees at small and medium enterprises to over a million. Jovanovic Obradovic reminded of the current programs of support of the Ministry of Economy meant for small and medium companies, which, as she announced, will be supplemented with new tax benefits beginning with October 1.

Representatives of the SME sector pointed out that the priority of the council’s activities should be the reduction of taxes and contributions, the reduction of income tax, the solving of the issue of the lack of workforce and education in line with the economy’s needs, especially in the production sector, as well as the problem of motivating quality workforce to stay in the company, and other problems.

Mitar Nikolic of Tehnocoop Subotica was appointed the chairman of the Council, and Jovana Jakovljev Trivan of Nopal Lux Backa Palanka was appointed deputy chairman.