Analysis of the national investment framework for diaspora in the Republic of Serbia presented

Kuca UN_1The United Nations House in Belgrade was the venue of the presentation on 5 July 2017 of the study “Analysis of the National Investment Framework for Diaspora in the Republic of Serbia” prepared within a joint global “Project Mainstreaming Migration into National Development Strategies”, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and implemented by UNDP and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SCC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, which is in charge of diaspora issues.

On behalf of the UNDP and the SDC, the meeting was addressed by Ms. Steliana Nedera, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, and Ms. Ursula Laubli, SDC Director in Serbia. Keynote speakers included: on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Dr. Ljiljana Niksic, Head of Migration Policy, Diaspora and Social Security Agreements Department, whose theme was the “Role of Economic Diplomacy in Attracting Foreign Investment from the Diaspora”, and Mr. Aleksandar Kemives, Advisor to the President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, who spoke on the theme “Promotion and reinforcement of local action and engagement of the IPAS system”. UNDP Expert Consultant on the project was Mr. Marko Pavlovic, supported by Head of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce Centre for Diaspora Aleksandar Radovanovic.

The National Investment Framework study elaborates, on 95 pages and in 9 chapters, Serbian academic and business diaspora’s cooperation potential, through a comparative analysis of positive international examples and success stories of returnees. At the end, the analysis offers conclusions and recommendations for promoting cooperation by mapping local self-government investment plans, and mapping potential investors from the diaspora; enhancing inter-sectoral coordination of activities between international and domestic actors and the diaspora, and intensifying consultations by studying foreign models of operations with the business diaspora. The study noted that the Serbian business diaspora in Switzerland – in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – organized, for the second consecutive year, an All-Serbian Business and Academic Diaspora Summit, where a presentation was made of the initial concept of the banking diaspora from Canada concerning their project of a Serbian Diaspora Development Bank. In cooperation with the SCC, UNDP and MFA, the presentation of the study was held in Toronto, 8 July 2017.

The study provides the basis for the future program aimed at contributing to the improvement of institutional and donor connectivity in Serbia, in respect of diaspora and the perception of migration policy as a development factor in Serbian economy and science.

As a token of successful cooperation, Ambassador Niksic handed out to the hosts gift-books prepared by the Serbian diaspora in Switzerland, relating to the centenary of the appointment of the first Serbian Ambassador in that country, including a review of the achievements of the All-Serbian Business Summit, Fair, and the 2016 Business Forum.