Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of Karen Lumley Karen Lumley Conservative, Redditch

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment his Department has made of the business and inward investment environment in Serbia.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

The Government agree with the assessment and recommendations of the European Commission in its 2013 progress report on Serbia. Serbia has made some progress towards establishing a functioning market economy, but faces significant challenges to align itself with EU acquis and economic criteria.

Legal uncertainty, the market-distorting presence of the state in the economy and corruption remain problems. Credible reforms to address restructuring of public enterprises and subsidies, as well as steps to improve the business environment and develop a competitive private sector are needed.

As a strong supporter of Serbia's EU future, the Government will continue to encourage, and offer support, to Serbia to address these recommendations and maintain efforts towards meeting the EU's membership criteria in full.

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