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Serbian national electricity company, Electric Power Industry of Serbia (“EPS”), is working actively on the development of systems for generation of renewables. Some of the most important ventures at the moment are construction of solar and wind farm in Kostolac, a small town in the eastern part of Serbia, as well as support to investments in the field of biofuels.

During the last year, the number of labor disputes which were resolved through mediation and arbitration in Serbia have increased fivefold. To improve the process of peaceful labor dispute resolution, amendents to the Amicable Labor Dispute Resolution Act (the “Act”) are expected.

“There is quite a lot going on, on both the political and economic sides” says Milan Samardzic, Partner at Samardzic Oreski and Grbovic law firm in Belgrade, although he concedes that, in the period leading up to the recent April 2 election (which resulted in the election of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to President), much work has been put on hold. Indeed, Serbia has gone through two straight years of elections, Samardzic points out, causing the country a more extensive period of inactivity than might otherwise have been expected.

Bad news for Euro pessimists! Serbia is about to open four new chapters in the negotiation accession process by July 1st. Namely, issues related to corporate law, intellectual property, foreign economic relations and customs are about to be discussed by the Serbian and the EU officials in the following months in order to adapt them to the requirements of the EU’s unified market and economic standards.

Good news for all the members of the Serbia Film Commission! On 31 January, the Serbian minister of culture and information, Mr. Vladan Vukosavljević, signed the revised version of the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production in Rotterdam. This now enables Serbia to participate in co-productions even with non-European countries.

Foreign Investors Council in Serbia (FIC), as an organization acting in favor of interests of foreign investors establishing their businesses in Serbia, issues a report every year listing all the recommendations of the private sector to the public authorities that could remove unnecessary barriers and problems in the business functioning. Issued regularly since 2003, the “White book” tries to tackle all the possible issues that would make doing business in Serbia easier and more flexible.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted a new Regulation on the Terms and Conditions of Attracting Direct Investments, in place of the previous Regulation which was in force since March 2016. The new Regulation is expected to secure continuity of economic growth, to obtain new capacities and technology, and to induce job creation. Furthermore, it introduces stricter controls regarding fulfillment of contractual obligations, and especially promotes investments in “devastated areas”.

According to the Stabilization and Association Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Serbia1 (hereinafter:”SAA”), Serbia has an obligation to address the issue of the acquisition of the real estate property in Serbia by foreign citizens and to enable such practice by no later than the fourth quarter of 2017.

The new Serbian Housing Act is a long-awaited codification of all the statutes pertaining to housing. The Building Maintenance Act and Housing Act were passed in its original texts more than two decades ago, and were rendered obsolete by the changes in society and economics climate. But the big question is – will there be enough funds for carrying out all the ideas laid out by the legislators?

After years of continued negative trend, Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX) recorded a positive turnover of 75% in 2016. As this is the second straight year in which BELEX recorded a growth, it is valid to claim that a new era for BELEX is around the corner.

Changes to existing Serbian public procurement framework are expected in 2017, as it was announced by the Serbian Public procurement office. The main motive for amendments is the harmonization of the existing public procurement framework in Serbia with EU Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement, which features the principle of “most economically advantageous tender” (the “MEAT” criteria) as the main selection criteria. The MEAT criteria shall now gain a prominent place in the Serbian public procurement procedure, too.

Based on the Payment Services Act which was adopted in 2014 and came into force on 1 October 2015, a new type of payment service has been introduced to the Serbian Payment Service Market.

Following the adoption of a completely new Insolvency Act in 2009, which introduced significant changes to the existing Serbian insolvency framework, and changes thereof which followed in 2014, the Insolvency Act is once again about to be amended.

After several months of tiresome trilateral negotiations between the representatives of the Government, employers and employees, a new minimum salary amount has been adopted in Serbia.

The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Commission”) announced that on August 29, 2016, it had initiated an investigation procedure against Inter Turs Plus (“ITP”), a transportation company from Arandjelovac, in order to determine the assumed abuse of its dominant position.

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SOG / Samardzic, Oreski & Grbovic at a Glance

SOG / Samardžić, Oreški & Grbović is a full service business law firm providing the highest quality legal advice across a wide range of key areas of corporate law in Serbia and the Western Balkans. We are particularly noted for legal expertise, high professional and ethical standards, attention to detail, and responsiveness. SOG is firmly committed to providing advice at the highest level and achieving lasting results for our clients.

In order to provide our regional and international clients having business interests in more than one jurisdiction, we have also established a strong regional presence through our partner offices in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro. This way, our clients gain a full spectrum of support and the most up to date and nuanced advice on the business and regulatory environment across the entire region.

Firm's website: www.sog.rs