Building a Better Business Environment in Serbia through CLA
USAID’s Business Enabling Project (BEP), implemented by Cardno, is a seven-year initiative launched in 2011. BEP has helped Serbia to develop the critical elements for economic growth, job creation, and the ability to compete in the European market. These elements include a business environment that enables private sector growth; an efficient government that does not place an untoward fiscal burden on the economy; and access to affordable finance for business expansion. Through collaborative learning and adaptive results management, BEP is helping Serbia overcome several obstacles to competitiveness and growth, including:
- Commercial laws and regulations that are inefficiently and inconsistently applied, often costing businesses unnecessary time and expense;
- Government fiscal and budget policies and processes that: lead to inefficiencies in public spending; discourage savings and investment; lower credit supply; and increase the cost of capital for private businesses; and,
- A financial system that does not provide the capital or complexity of services necessary for Serbian businesses to develop export-based growth.
Our goal has been to improve intra-governmental and private-sector collaboration by harmonizing strategies and streamlining legislation. We are aiming to reduce inconsistencies and enable reform champions to build support by identifying and sharing best practices and insights gained from ongoing evidence gathering, learning and benchmarking. This process helped to not only identify, but also prioritize needed reforms. BEP is completely demand-driven; all activities are based on private- and public-sector priorities, requiring close collaboration with up to 15 government counterparts (including several ministries). Our approach is to help the Government of Serbia (GoS) collaborate with the private sector and outside experts to implement reforms that improve competitiveness.