An agreement with a Serbian bank which will enable the European program COSME funds for support to small and medium enterprises to be utilized is expected to be signed by the end of this year, said the assistant to the minister of economy of Serbia, Katarina Obradovic Jovanovic.
COSME is an EU program meant for increasing the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises, and the budget planned for the 2014-2020 period is EUR 2.3 billion, and Serbia joined the program in November 2015.
Katarina Obradovic Jovanovic reminded that Serbia had access to the program, for which it paid EUR 800,000 of membership a year. She said that there were no defined quotas for countries in the program and that the money was withdrawn through loans at local banks where projects were submitted to.
- There are no quotas for countries where you’d known how much belongs to you. The amount you can withdraw is dependent on how many good projects you have, how much interest there is and how prepared you are to meet the demands – said Katarina Obradovic Jovanovic.
She said that 60% of COSME funds were available for local financial institutions which applied, whereas 40% was used as support to European Entrepreneurship Network, for clusters or preparation of analyses or reports or for organization of workshops which the EU deemed necessary.
- What’s good is that Serbia’s membership in COSME provides it with access to all those events in which experiences are exchanged and the latest trends in these areas are introduced – said Obradovic Jovanovic.
COSME aims to facilitate access to finance and the market to SMEs, to stimulate entrepreneurship and create favorable conditions for opening companies and creating jobs.