% of GDP
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was formed in 1918; its name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. Occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941 was resisted by various partisan bands that fought themselves as well as the invaders. The group headed by Marshal TITO took full control upon German expulsion in 1945. Although communist in name, his new government successfully steered its own path between the Warsaw Pact nations and the West for the next four and a half decades. In the early 1990s, post-TITO Yugoslavia began to unravel along ethnic lines: Slovenia, Croatia, and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia all declared their independence in 1991; Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. The remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro declared a new "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" in 1992 and, under President Slobodan MILOSEVIC, Serbia led various military intervention efforts to unite Serbs in neighboring republics into a "Greater Serbia." All of these efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. In 1999, massive expulsions by Serbs of ethnic Albanians living in the autonomous republic of Kosovo provoked an international response, including the NATO bombing of Serbia and the stationing of NATO and Russian peacekeepers in Kosovo. Blatant attempts to manipulate presidential balloting in October of 2000 were followed by massive nationwide demonstrations and strikes that saw the election winner, Vojislav KOSTUNICA, replace
Update No: 080 - (01/01/04)
Minister says Serbia-Montenegro halfway to completion of EU Feasibility Study
Serbia and Montenegro (SCG) Minister for International Economic Relations, Branko Lukovac, has said that the state union is halfway to the completion of the Feasibility Study for its accession in the EU.
Lukovac told Tanjug News Agency that two of the four conditions for the development of the Feasibility Study have already been met.
A joint customs office was set up on 1st November, while the regulations on its work will be known shortly, which is one of the important conditions for a full implementation of the action plan on harmonization of the SCG economic systems.
The remaining agreements on free trade with Albania, Bulgaria and Moldova have been signed in Rome recently, the agreement with Romania had been harmonized, and the one with Croatia amended, and they now need to be ratified in order to become effective.
The two outstanding issues in the SCG economic relations are customs levies and 56 agricultural products for which the duty tariffs had not been harmonized yet, but will be discussed additionally, explained Lukovac, expressing confidence that a solution would be found at the end, that is, if there is a political willingness, in six months if not earlier.
FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS
Iran, Serbia-Montenegro sign three economic agreements
Iran and Serbia-Montenegro inked three economic agreements at the end of the two countries' economic commission session on 5th December, IRNA News Agency has reported.
The agreements were signed by visiting Iranian Minister of Economy and Finance Tahmasb Mazaheri and Serbian Minister of Minority and Human Rights and head of the Iran and Serbia-Montenegro Joint Economic Commission Rasim Ljajic.
According to the agreements, the two sides will promote their bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade, joint ventures and setting up different kinds of exhibitions.
Meanwhile, the two sides signed a protocol in which the future programmes for expansion of bilateral economic cooperation, including inking several customs, tourism, and technical agreements have been predicted.
Attending a joint press conference after signing the agreements, the two ministers expressed their satisfaction with the process of bilateral cooperation between the two sides.
Serbian minister says proceeds from privatisation amount to 1.3bn Euros
The total budgetary revenues earned through privatisation amount to 1.3 billion Euros, the value of contracted compulsory investments is 700 million and investments in the workers' protection programmes amount to about 280 million Euros, Serbian Minister of Economy and Privatisation, Aleksandar Vlahovic, said on 4th December on the occasion of the privatisation of the 1,000th socially-owned enterprise, Tanjug News Agency has reported.
Speaking at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vlahovic said that the privatisation process was very successful since earnings exceeded the value of the offered social capital and that the capital for the restructuring of large systems in difficult position had been earned through the sale of good enterprises.
Privatisation enables the refinancing of the pension fund, into which 10 per cent of earned funds had been paid, five per cent of funds went to the Restitution Fund, which will be used to compensate former owners, and five per cent of earnings, which will in many cases exceed municipal budgets, will be sent to local-self governments, the minister said.
He said that privatisation had shown that it could be an active instrument for the restructuring of the Serbian economy, because loans to the amount of 25 million Euros had been directed to the development of SMEs and 70,000 new good jobs had been opened.
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