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Serbia to adopt new measures supporting SMEs: PM

(Xinhua)

08:43, March 19, 2012

BELGRADE, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The Serbian government will soon present measures to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to produce more and hire more workers, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said Sunday.

Cvetkovic made the disclosure in an interview for Sunday's edition of daily "Vecernje Novosti," which was partly published by the official website of the Serbian government.

According to the website, the new measures include to rent land at a lower price than the market price or even cede it free of charge to all companies that open new plants and employ workers.

Since 2008 the Serbian government has provided more than 300 million euros (about 393 million U.S. dollars) in extremely favourable credit lines intended exclusively for the SME sector through international financial institutions and the support of foreign governments.

In the last four years, 143,469 SMEs were removed from the register in Serbia, but at the same time 150,272 new ones were set up, which means that their number actually rose by almost 7,000, according to the Serian government website.

The Serbian government has adopted a law on the establishment of the Development Bank which will have a special department dealing exclusively with SMEs. With the establishment of the Development Bank, start-up loans for beginners to which small enterprises had great objections will be abolished.

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