Serbia's new gov't to boost economic growth through innovation: PM-designate

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-28 22:46:53|Editor: Mu Xuequan


Serbian Prime Minister designate Ana Brnabic speaks during a parliament session in Belgrade, Serbia, on June 28. 2017.(Xinhua/Predrag Milosavljevic)

BELGRADE, June 28 (Xinhua) -- If elected, new government of Serbia will continue with the policy of economic reforms started by the previous government together with progress in European integration and the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation, Ana Brnabic, prime minister-designate of Serbia said on Wednesday.

She made this statement while presenting her program and composition of the new government to the parliament for discussion.

Brnabic, who is about to become the first woman at the helm of Serbia's government, and the first that has openly spoken about her LGBT orientation, revealed that the priorities of the new government will be to continue the reform of the economy and public administration, accelerate growth, improve educational system, while some of the ways to achieve this will be through digitalization, education and promoting entrepreneurship.

The government was dissolved on May 31 when then Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic took over his duty as the new president after April 2 elections. In mid-June he signed a decree nominating Brnabic as the person designated to be in charge of the government, and sent it to the parliament to be adopted.

Brnabic, born in 1975, who studied in Britain and the United States, served as the minister of public administration and local self-government in the government of then PM Vucic since August 2016.

Brnabic announced to MPs that the government will continue to rigorously save money in order to accelerate economic growth.

"Our aim is to have the deficit of the state under 1 percent by 2019. With further growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) we plan to decrease the level of public debt under 60 percent. This will make room for the creation of more jobs," she said.

Brnabic explained that in the years to come Serbia expects to achieve GDP growth of at least 3.5 percent and pointed out that economic stability requires restructuring of public enterprises, maintaining political stability and progress in European integration process.

Noting that the citizens are ready to enter the digital age, she stressed that digitalization will "change the way of thinking in all the segments of the society, make services cheaper and knowledge more accessible, at the same time creating jobs of higher quality".

Another priority will be to boost creative thinking and the spirit of entrepreneurship among younger population through the educational system, because, as she pointed out, "entrepreneurship is the engine of development, especially in countries with small population, and that it presents an attitude and a way of living".

She said that the government will "continue the policy of good relations with Russia, but that will also expand good relations with China, India, South Korea, as well as continue to build good relations with the United States".

If the new government led by Brnabic gets majority of 250 MP votes, it will be comprised of 18 ministries, two more than the previous one -- ministry of the environmental protection and ministry of European integration.

The deadline for the parliament to elect the new government expires at midnight on June 30.

Parliament speaker told local media earlier Wednesday that she expects that 156 MPs will vote for Brnabic and that the new government will take the oath of office on Friday morning.