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The Foundation BFPE for Responsible Society, with the support of CIPE (Center for International Private Enterprise), organized a conference titled “Foreign Direct Investments – Opportunity or Challenge for the Local Business Community,” held on December 12th at the Aeroclub in Belgrade.

The first panel examined foreign direct investments from the perspective of the local business community. Goran Kovačević (President of the Zrenjanin Business Circle), Dragan Kostić (representative of the contractual-regional Chamber of Commerce Pirot), and Stefan Vladisavljev (program coordinator of the Foundation BFPE) discussed challenges, opportunities, and good and bad practices from local communities.

The second panel focused on the strategic significance of foreign direct investments, from the international and national to the local level. Nenad Jevtović from the Institute for Development and Innovation moderated this discussion between Bojan Stanić (representative of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia), Milena Radović (investment advisor from the Development Agency of Serbia), and Aleksander Markus (executive board member of AHK).

The last panel explored possibilities and methods for reducing the consequences of corrosive capital. Moderator Nikola Burazer (Center for Contemporary Politics, European Western Balkans), Misha Popovikj (Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis Skopje), Vanya Petrova (Center for Democratic Studies, Bulgaria), Donika Ellshani (KCSS), and Igor Novaković (ISAC Fund) discussed the consequences of corrosive capital and ways and instruments to prevent, mitigate, and reduce it.

The conference featured the presentation of the publication “Foreign Direct Investments – Opportunity or Challenge for the Local Business Community.” Data collected during local debates held in four cities – Zrenjanin, Čačak, Pirot, and Šabac – served as the basis for recommendations.

The conference represented the final event of the project and provided an opportunity for dialogue with representatives of the business community, local government, chambers of commerce, and other relevant stakeholders. The goal was to assess the impact of foreign direct investments on the local business community, identify the needs of domestic economic entities, and consider ways to overcome challenges arising from the activities of foreign companies at the local level.

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