One whole cannot develop unless all its parts develop. That is the leitmotiv of the first paper in this edition of Ekonomika preduzeća. In the Introductory paper, E. Jakopin alerts of regional consequences of transition in Serbia. The author points out the importance of affirming the integrative function of strategic regional development planning, the decentralization process and polycentric regional development.
In the Organization and Management section, B. Paunović and V. Ivanić estimate the conditions and the possibility of applying strategies of integrating SMEs in Serbia into global value chain, as well as the ability and propulsiveness of SMEs to enhance their role in the value chain of fruit and vegetables. The methodology for assessing the readiness of SMEs for their integration into the value chain of fruit and vegetable processing has been developed to assess the readiness of the selected SMEs for their integration and promotion in the fruit and vegetable processing chain. In the second paper, V. Kuč analyzes the performance of the so-called business controversial or zombie companies in the period from 2008 to 2017. Having in mind that 31 analyzed business controversial companies generate almost one-fourth of the total losses exceeding the equity value of the Serbian economy, as well as the level of their liquidity and bankruptcy risks, the author points out that the restructuring of these companies is not only a matter of their existence, but also the matter of strategic importance for the entire Serbian economy. In the third paper in this section, S. Aćimović and V. Mijušković made an effort to identify specific factors important for the usage of the reverse logistics process in Serbia, as well as to widen and enrich the scientific and practical findings in this area. In the last paper in this section, a trio of authors, D. Cvijanović, D. Sekulić and D. Pavlović, explore consumers’ perceptions of green hotels, their intention to visit them again and to recommend them to friends and acquaintances or through social networks. Survey results enable entrepreneurs to understand the benefits of applying environmental principles in business and the manner in which these principles are valued by consumers.
In the Law and Taxes section, I. Domazet, D. Marjanović and I. Stošić investigate how certain tax incentives may affect the business of foreign investors in Serbia. The authors paid special attention to tax incentives in certain areas of business conducted by foreign investors in Serbia, depending on the activity of foreign investors and the level of internationalization of business operations. In the second paper, a duo of experts in law, J. Perović and M. Jovanović, analyze the issue of confidentiality in international business contracts concluded by the state and explore the shift from confidentiality to transparency that has been emerging in recent years.
The last paper in this edition goes to the Accounting section. A trio of authors, M. Todorović, V. Janjić and V. Pašić, research the effects and limitations of activity-based costing application in small and medium-sized enterprises.
We begin this edition of Ekonomika preduzeća with business analytics. In the first paper in the Organization and Management section, a duo of professors, T. Dobrodolac Šeregelj and J. Brdar explore the usage of business analytics and forecasting in supply chain optimization in Serbian companies. The authors set an economic model for sales forecasting and procurement plan to prove that the company’s goal can be achieved this way while avoiding excess inventory and missed sales. In the second paper in this section, Z. Aničić tested the preparedness for intrapreneurship of medium-sized and large companies in Serbia using the CEAI tool. The author demonstrates that, on average, preparedness of companies for corporate entrepreneurship is not high, which is mostly caused by the lack of top management support in encouraging, developing and implementing entrepreneurial ideas, as well as by excessive bureaucratization of work procedures that suppress employees’ creativity and innovation.
In their paper in the Accounting and Auditing section, M. Đorđević and T. Đukić are trying to determine the position of internal audit in the corporate governance system in Serbia. The authors show that internal audit in Serbian companies remains under significant influence of the regulatory obligation of companies, origin of capital and number of employees.
The Finance section includes three papers. The first paper written by M. Bisić and S. Ranđelović analyzes the evolution of cigarette excise duties policy in the Western Balkan countries from 2007 to 2017 and estimates respective fiscal and smoking prevalence outcomes. The authors find that in most Western Balkan countries the surge in excise yield did not fully translate into rise in tax revenues, where only part of such underperformance is explained by decline in smoking incidence, while part could potentially be attributed to the expanding illicit market. Similarly to the paper published in 2014, in the second paper a quartet of young researchers, M. Pjanić, N. Milenković, B. Kalaš, and V. Mirović, tests profitability determinants of non-life insurance companies in Serbia in the 2010-2015 period. The authors show that the increase in premiums, debt ratio, operating costs and share of profit in total revenues have the greatest impact on profitability. The last paper in this section written by S. Živković and Ž. Vojinović explores the potential and state of digital banking in Serbia through a comparative analysis, focusing on current products and services in the market with a follow-up on the same type of trends in the region and the European Union.
Ekonomika preduzeća has considered the threat of delayed transition from the very onset of systemic transition in Serbia. In the Introductory paper of this edition, maestro Lj. Madžar acknowledged the fears that economic development malaise is a legacy of the socialist past. No doubt, the argument contained in the title of the paper may have some merit. In such context, sustainability of transitional achievements, the author says, comes not from superiority of transitional strategy and certain policy measures, but from the ability of political leaders to foster an economy that can learn from past mistakes faster. I concede that we are in a similar territory when we address the issue of advanced human capital as a component of the labor markets. This was a topic investigated by a duo of young professors from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Belgrade, M. Jandrić and D. Molnar. In their paper, they tested eight variables covering key dimensions of the quality of employment for the EU and non-EU countries, including Serbia. We hope this paper will deepen future discussion and accelerate the search for solutions.
Two papers form part of the Information Technologies section. A quartet of authors from different institutions – L. Živković, Đ. Kutlača, A. Kleinnbrik and D. Štrbac – analyzed the software industry in Serbia. In recent past, it was the most dynamic and fastest growing industry in Serbia. Special focus in empirical testing was placed on business model change, cooperation with R&D units and necessary adjustments in the education system. The findings are practical and intriguing. The software industry yields more prosperity than traditional industries, although the budget will not benefit proportionally from it.
In the second paper, J. Filipović, a young professor teaching Marketing at the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, detailed on the use of digital media by the Serbian migrants. In the Marketing section, V. Babić, S. Zarić and R. Bujković analyze the companies’ communication with the non-market environment. The authors challenge the premise that companies that are highly successful in their market performance can, at the same time, fail to manage well their relations with the political and social environment or regulatory bodies.
The Finance section of this edition includes two papers. The first one, authored by S. Milošević Avdalović of the Faculty of Economics, University of Novi Sad, addresses the question of the impact of bank-specific factors on the banking industry liquidity in Serbia. The author used panel data regression analysis for two indicators of liquidity (cash flow/total asset and loans/total asset). The second paper, written by a duo of authors S. Jelisavac Trošić and B. Stojanović-Višić, offers a comparative analysis of fiscal rules in the EU and Serbia.
Public sentiment about the 2015-17 program of fiscal consolidation has taken a sharp turn. However, even among some professional economists, doubts about sustainability of the fiscal balance as a stable base for growth have not fully receded.
This edition of Ekonomika preduzeća is delineated by the Introductory paper of D. Vujović titled Serbia beyond fiscal consolidation: The quest for dynamic, sustainable, inclusive growth. After spending more than three years in the fiscal consolidation program, Minister of Finance takes on another grand topic in this edition, sources of growth. In the following paper, a duo of authors - D. Đuričin and I. Vuksanović Herceg - acknowledged the abovementioned shift and elaborated on a new model of growth and economic policy platform for double GDP, with special focus on industrial policy for ICT. They try to update the heterodox economic policy platform by opting to enhance the economy ambitiously rather than incrementally. In his research, President of the Fiscal Council P. Petrović and his team - D. Brčerević and S. Minić - argue for public sector reforms along with locking in the budget. They find that policymakers tend to underestimate the impact of binding constraints on fiscal balance sustainability and overestimate their harmful consequences. The list of constructive sceptics’ contributors ends with M. Labus and his comparative analysis of business cycles in Serbia and its five neighboring EU Member States over the long-term period (2000-17). His research suggests that public policy leaders tend to underestimate the harmful consequences of transitional recession in Serbia.
The block of optimists begins with Governor of the National Bank of Serbia J. Tabaković, who addressed the role of non-performing loans resolution in the stability of the financial system and recovery.
Digital transformation is in the spotlight of this edition. Perhaps it is the most overused phrase in today’s business jargon. At the start of this spotlight package, a trio of authors - G. Pitić, N. Savić and S. Verbić - tries to demystify some core concepts. S. Nešić and J. Subotić, led by A. Trbovich, are also joining the debate by placing special focus on scaling up the innovative start-ups. Their valuable recommendations are evidence-based. Another trio of authors - N. Savić, G. Pitić and J. Lazarević - dedicated their article to innovation-driven economy. Their standpoints are backed up by the results of an empirical study of the innovation ecosystem in Serbia. The section dedicated to digital transformation in Serbia ends with a paper prepared by R. Pindžo and M. Agić Molnar, headed by G. Petković. The paper addresses the problem of non-incremental changes in tourism and retail under the impact of digital transformation.
Deputy Prime Minister Z. Mihajlović analyzes infrastructure as a conventional source of growth. She argues that infrastructure development exerts strong influence on GDP increase and competitiveness improvement. In a paper he co-authored with M. Obradović, F. Stojanović and S. Milošević, D. Lončar made a valuable contribution to the field of market concentration and regulatory framework adjustments. The authors advocate for some improvements in the regulations and offer several ideas for fixing some important problems. In the final paper, S. Kisić brings clarity to the debate of institutional setting adjustments for a more robust growth from the education perspective. She presents a view on how to fix things based on relevant think thanks’ recommendations with the aim to abolish the skills gap vis-a-vis the market needs.
Before fiscal consolidation, Serbia’s economy was out of tune and impotent. After the fiscal consolidation, it is now pretty well-balanced, but still impotent. More and more economists share the concern about growth, but systemic change has been relatively slow. We hope that ideas presented in this edition of Ekonomika preduzeća will contribute to the effort toward dynamic, sustainable and inclusive growth while keeping fiscal balance intact.
Savez ekonomista Srbije je (SES) nevladino i neprofitabilno udruženje ekonomista Srbije osnovano 1947. godine radi ostvarivanja ciljeva u oblasti unapređenja ekonomske nauke i prakse u Srbiji. SES okuplja ugledne ekonomiste iz akademskih i poslovnih krugova, kao i najznačajnije kompanije iz realnog i finansijskog sektora.
SAVEZ EKONOMISTA SRBIJE
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