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Serbia plans to set up diaspora bank to spur investments

February 6, 2014

Serbia plans to create a disapora bank which will help direct remittances towards investments rather than consumption expenditures, the deputy head of the government's Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora, Aleksandar Vlajkovic , was quoted as saying by news agency Tanjug. Serb diaspora's tranfers amount to an average EUR 2.5bn per year but the major part of these funds is spent on consumption goods which has little positive development effect on the local economy. During the past ten years, the remmittances inflow equalled to USD 750 per capita, which makes Serbia the fifth highest-ranked nation in terms of money transfers from the diaspora, Vujovic also said. Around 1% of these funds has been invested, resulting in the creation of 20,000 jobs, he added. The initiative for setting up the bank has come from the Serbian diaspora, which wants to invest in Serbia , Vlajkovic said. In addition to money transfers, the new bank will encourage the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. The Serb state is expected to provide institutional support as well as guarantees for the bank, he added. Vlajkovic underscored that experts from the Serb central bank (NBS) have participated in the project and the NBS's executive board is expected to discuss the issue shortly. An estimated 4mn Serbian citizens live abroad, including 30,000 highly educated people, Vujovic said.

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Source: IntelliNews - Weekly Reports

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