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On behalf of the Serbian Association of Economists we are pleased to invite you to the XXVII Kopaonik Business Forum (the KBF 2020).

Kopaonik Business Forum is a high profile event committed to improving the performance of Serbian economy through analytical contributions and dialogue between major relevant stakeholders. For many years the event enjoyed the conceptual patronage of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia and attracted a growing number of participants from around the region. Recently the Forum has been gathering on average more than thousand participants, including heads of state, prime ministers and ministers, high representatives of regulatory bodies, representatives of international financial institutions, respectable scholars, diplomats, business practitioners, and media.

As usual, the event is organized through plenary sessions, panel discussions, special events, and peer-to-peer sessions.  Our exceptional roster includes more than hundred speakers from academia (mostly economics, business management, and ICT), politics, finance, and business. The IFI’s thematic studies will again be presented at the Forum along with new academic and policy papers by leading researchers and scholars in topical fields. The Forum continues to provide a unique opportunity for participants to meet and discuss relevant issues. The title of this year’s annual meeting is:

The Challenges of the Future

KBF 2020 is again a four-day event. Day Zero, Sunday March 1, is dedicated to two Western Balkans regional events – economic outlook and political vision 2030 – and a talk about emerging creative industries. Day One, is devoted to highlighting major economic and policy developments in Serbia and the region through keynote addresses by Serbian Governor of the Central Bank, and the Minister of Finance, followed by the initial round of discussion panels on outstanding macroeconomic and growth policy issues, as well as various Serbian, regional and global aspects of ensuing Industry 4.0 and related challenges, the main theme of the Forum. Day one will be saturated additionally with topical panels on digital transformation, promoting protection competition policy, discussion of geopolitical issues for the Western Balkan region,  overview of new policy for inclusive growth from the angle of domestic and foreign investors, and conclude with a topic of regional economic cooperation.

Day Two will continue with regional stability issues before returning to the key sectoral challenges related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution in: infrastructure, restructuring of SOE’s, banking industry, smart specialization, construction, confectionary, agriculture and hospitality industry. Day two panels will also explore the impact of IR 4.0 on the future of jobs and employment policies needed to reverse brain drain, generate quality financing and education for sustainable growth, continue tax administration reform, and address challenges of climate change.

Finally, Day Three will cover the likely impact of Industry 4.0 on health sector and provide space for additional contributions in the final plenary session. Before concluding the Forum, we will have an opportunity to hear the address by Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.

This Forum takes place in exceptionally complex times with unusually high trade and political tensions at global level, open economic and union issues in Europe, performance and cooperation challenges faced by the Western Balkan region, and serious barriers to completing reforms and securing vibrant sustainable growth in Serbia. In this introduction to the Forum we will briefly cover the global, European and regional issues before turning to domestic growth and reform issues, and the changes likely to be imposed on us by the relentless march of Industry 4.0.

Global Environment: Low Economic Activity Coupled with Trade and Political Tensions
Following a sharp slowdown in 2018, global economic growth remains weak throughout the 2019. It comes both from lowest level of manufacturing activity since the global financial crisis, and from increasing trade and geopolitical tensions stemming from uncertainties about the future of the global trading system and international economic order. This affects businesses in the near term and investors’ confidence with likely longer run consequences.
For now, accommodating monetary policy responses and resilient service sector have cushioned much of the adverse impact on the level of economic activity and employment. Nevertheless, world growth estimate for 2019 has been reduced by 0.3 percentage points to 3.0 percent. Albeit somewhat higher due to expected the short-term recovery in emerging market economies, the projected 3.4 percent global economic growth for 2020 still represents a further downward revision of the previous forecast. Economic growth in the so-called systemic market economies (comprising the US, EU, China and Japan, which account for almost half of global GDP) will stabilize at moderate levels. Global growth can be expected strengthen only in the 2021-24 period driven by stronger recovery in emerging market economies that suffered a drop in the 2017-19 period.

The latest IMF’s World Economic Outlook warns that the overall economic outlook remains precarious with large downside risks. It calls for policies that would defuse growing trade tensions, reinvigorate multilateral cooperation, provide appropriate stimulus to economic activity, and address financial vulnerabilities that pose risks to the medium run growth.

European Economic Environment: Limitations from Weaker Trade and Manufacturing

Economic activity in Europe has slowed due to external weaknesses in trade and manufacturing. Domestic demand (in services and consumption) has been strong based on labor market conditions, supported by expansionary fiscal policy and looser financial conditions. At the same time longer run prospects may be affected by some signs of softer investment demand.

Overall, EU growth has been now estimated at 1.4 percent in 2019 (down from 2.3 percent in 2018) and projected to modestly increase to 1.8 percent in 2020 based on the recovery of global trade and GDP growth. Significant differences in economic dynamics between advanced and emerging Europe will remain. In 2019 advanced Europe will grow 0.1 percentage point below average, while emerging Europe’s growth is estimated at 1.8 percent (0.4 percentage points above average) leading to further convergence.

Key downside risks come from possible chaotic “no-deal Brexit” and further intensification of trade tensions globally which could adversely impact investment. Additionally, existing weaknesses in trade and manufacturing could spread to modern service sectors and further diminish growth prospects. A cumulative effect of negative tendencies may lead to a downward adjustment in risk appetite of investors, renewed financial vulnerabilities, and re-emergence of deflationary pressures in advanced economies.

Many EU countries continue to favor accommodative monetary policy to counter slowing economic activity. Based on widespread social and labor union pressures, wage growth has risen above productivity gains, especially in new EU member states. IMF’s most recent Regional Economic Outlook (November 2019) projects that this is likely to have a more muted impact on inflation due to weaker pass-through from wages-to-prices when inflation level and inflation expectations are low, corporate profitability is high, and firms are exposed to greater competition, as appears to be the case recently.

Extended reliance on loose monetary policy may increase financial sector vulnerabilities, not least rising real estate prices, and calls for in-depth monitoring and active use of macro-prudential measures. Given the low level of unemployment, fiscal policy should be allowed to assume a stronger counter-cyclical role in the short run and, for the most part, focus on medium-term objectives. Countries with ample fiscal space could take measures to boost potential output, while countries with elevated debt and deficit levels should proceed with fiscal consolidation. This nuanced approach would also help address external imbalances.

In an environment of elevated downside risks, and limited scope for active monetary policy, contingency plans become indispensable. The core content of contingency plans should be pivoted in synchronized fiscal response, appropriately differentiated across countries, and synchronized with structural reforms, including higher labor force participation, investment in human capital and infrastructure, and strengthened governance. These remain vital to raise and sustain economic growth, and address long-term challenges.

Western Balkans Regional Economic Environment: Issues and Challenges

Over the past three decades exports have contributed strongly to growth and eco­nomic convergence in many small open economies, including all emerging market economies and most CEE transition economies which have since joined the EU. The Western Balkan (WB) region, consisting of small emerging market economies that succeeded Yugoslavia (excluding Slovenia and Croatia which already joined the EU, and including Albania), has not fully utilized exports as a main driver of growth and convergence.

In a recent paper titled “Lifting Growth in the Western Balkans: The Role of Global Value Chains and Services Exports”, an IMF team led by Nadeem Ilahi focused on the policy and empirical aspects of the problem. The team concluded that the insignificant role of trade and exports in the region’s economic performance can be explained largely by lack of openness, reliance on low value products and low-skill employment, and weak competitiveness.

The paper focused on the issues of accelerating sustainable export-led growth in the Western Balkans by concentrating on three priorities:
  • Enhancing integration with global value chains (GVC) which are responsible for about 80 percent of world exports and include both backward linkages (use of foreign inputs) and forward linkages (exports of intermediate goods to GVC hubs);
  • Expanding service exports which, in addition to travel, tourism, and transport services, also include construction, financial services, business services, manufacturing services, and ICT related services; and
  • Raising imports’ contribution to growth through imports of capital goods which embody knowledge and new technology, demand technologically advanced inputs, and enable exports at the higher end of supply chain.
Key policy recommendations are fully aligned with prior policy and structural reforms for WB countries and include the following specific proposals:
  1. The apparent slowdown in income convergence of WB countries with the EU calls for a reconsideration of key policies and structural reforms. Despite proximity of the EU – the largest trading bloc in the world— exports have played a subdued role in the economic growth of the WB region. Hence, the need to reorient policies to make exports of goods and services an engine of growth and income convergence with Europe. To address that issue, the paper suggests reigniting exports to EU countries through better integration into GVCs, emphasizing and diversifying a full range of services exports, and enabling sophisticated imports to facilitate innovations, learning and technology transfer as important sources of sustainable inclusive growth.
  2. To successfully integrate into GVCs and reap benefits of backward and forward linkages, WB countries will need to:
    • Improve infrastructure and labor skills, as well as deepen trade agreements (which also depends on the pace of EU accession process). The empirical findings in the paper show that by increasing and deepening GVC links, WB countries could raise GDP level by 3–10 percent.
    • Sustain the flow of FDI through necessary regulatory reforms, functioning market institutions (rules), and investment facilitation. Empirical and survey results show that improvements in infrastructure and quality of education systems are necessary for the region to better integrate into Europe’s sophisticated production and services networks.
    • Deepen trade agreements and carry out trade reforms, including through the adoption of CEFTA, accession to WTO and signing of stabilization and association agreements (SAAs) with the EU. Avoid political interference and fully observe these agreements.
    • Utilize local GVC networks. Links within the WB region are weak and deepening regional integration could prepare countries for integration into major GVCs. Empirical evidence suggests that deep agreements would be more effective in promoting trade and investment if a group of neighboring economies joined together.
  3. The gap in services exports between WB countries and European neighbors is narrower than that in goods exports, but there is room for further growth. There is scope for quality enhancement in tourism and scaling up of IT and business services exports. The empirical findings suggest that policies to increase openness, enhance skills, and improve various aspects of infra­structure could significantly boost services exports and increase real GDP by up to 4 percent.
  4. Further openness in services trade in the WB region would also require fast‑tracking reforms associated with regional initiatives. The fact that not all WB countries are WTO members, limits the scope of global trade initiatives in the region. The WB coun­tries could include commitments on services trade liberalization in their existing and future trade agreements. As in the case of fast-tracking provisions related to adoption of GVCs, front-loading the services reform agenda—including those related to the EU services directive1—should also result in positive domestic spillovers.
  5. Without an improvement in labor skills, the agenda to upgrade WB exports and integrate production into the European GVCs would remain incomplete. The study confirms that high quality and skilled labor is a critical requirement for enhancing GVCs—firms that work seamlessly across international borders by splitting production along optimal value-added lines—and increasing the domestic absorptive capac­ity of capital investments, including imports of technologically advanced capital goods. Since WB economies lag significantly in skilled manpower, there is a need to urgently address this key weakness relying on thematic studies.
  6. It is crit­ical that the WB countries undertake GVC-related deep trade reforms in tandem with the upgrading labor skills. An improvement in the latter without improving employment prospects for skilled workers could fur­ther exacerbate the region’s endemic emigration problem and the atten­dant negative consequences for these countries. This underscores the need for comprehensive labor market and education reforms to address chronic informality, emigration, and high level of inac­tivity that plague all countries in the region. To the extent GVC firms are essentially an extension of a single firm that exists over multiple borders, efficient management and organization of such firms requires the presence of appropriate top tier management in the various locations to coordinate activities. Constraints on the employment of such talent, if any, should be eased. Investing in and harnessing such talents and removing remaining constraints on employment can greatly enhance the region’s human capital.

Serbia: In Search of a New Growth Agenda – Forging the Future
Issues of increasing and sustaining GDP growth topped the political and analytical agenda in recent years. Most recent World Bank Country Economic Memorandum for Serbia offers a comprehensive framework to advance the growth discussion and resolve it in a new ambitious but realistic and doable pro-active growth agenda.
The report acknowledges and praises successes in fiscal consolidation and revival of economic growth from only 0.1 percent per annum during the initial post crisis period (2009-2014) to 3-4 percent annual growth experienced in recent years and projected in the medium run. Although current growth rates and fiscal space provide a basis for improved living standards and sustainable macroeconomic and debt position, they fall significantly short of social and political expectations of improved standards and rapid convergence to EU income and quality of life standards. The reality is that at present growth dynamics Serbia fast approaches its present potential GDP and, hence, scope for sustained economic and income growth. The Bank report emphasizes that, in order to embark on a true convergence path with the EU level of prosperity, Serbia must embrace a new ambitious reform and growth agenda supported by structural reforms and sustained conditions of macroeconomic stability that would enable an average 5 to 7 percent annual GDP growth rates, create 100,000 new jobs each year, and double per capita incomes in 10-15 years.

It is important to stress that this objective, albeit very ambitious, is realistic and doable. Just as the objectives of fiscal consolidation that turned a deficit of 6 percent of GDP into a surplus, nearly halved unemployment to 13 percent, or slash public debt from 73 to 54 percent of GDP.  This appealing prospect may easily elude Serbia if it does not firmly commit to create and maintain institutions that, despite allowing some national preferences, substantively comply with EU institutional standards.

The policies and reforms needed to create and sustain the success that would allow Serbia to become a fast‐growing, sophisticated modern economy, driven by its private sector, underpin the foundation for the New Growth Agenda. It maintains the hard‐won gains of macroeconomic monetary and fiscal stability and advances the transformation of the economy in the following seven areas:
  1. Boosting investment. Investment, private and public, is an expression of confidence in the future, and higher levels of investment are both the cause and effect of higher growth in Serbia. An overall investment level of at least 26 percent of GDP would be needed to reach and sustain faster GDP growth rate in the longer run. Based on historical experience in comparator countries, World Bank study states that Serbia could add one percentage point to annual growth by increasing public investment alone. Considerably more could come from closing the gap in private investment where Serbia’s lags 3 percentage points of GDP behind Western Balkan countries and 6 percentage points behind Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to size, the quality of investment and reformed public investment management system are essential to achieve the beneficial impact on economic growth.
  2. Financing growing firms. The financial sector enables private sector investment and operations. Access to credit can be the critical difference between expansion or stagnation for small enterprises or start‐ups based on innovative ideas and entrepreneurial drive. Presently, the financial sector lacks instruments that best suit private sector needs. Introducing new financing options and invigorating capital markets could increase the ratio of private‐sector credit to GDP, which is currently only half of the EU average. The study indicates that achieving EU levels of financial intermediation could boost Serbia’s GDP growth by 1.3 percent annually.
  3. Skilling workers. Better education is the best way of investing for the future. Ending functional innumeracy and illiteracy is not only the right thing to do but would also supply Serbia’s companies with better‐trained workers. Labor inactivity remains high, more so among the young, women and the Roma population. At the same time, over two‐thirds of expanding businesses are unable to find workers with the right skills. A broad reform program to upgrade skills – from curricula reform to quality assurance systems – and evidence‐driven active labor market policies would improve labor quality. Changes in labor taxes and social security contributions could foster labor participation. Combined effect of these reforms could add 1.3 percent annually to GDP growth.
  4. Raising productivity. The productivity in private firms will in large part determine Serbia’s future economic prosperity. Presently, Serbian manufacturing firms produce only one‐third of what EU firms produce using the same inputs. Hence, there is scope for Serbian firms to produce more, hire more people, and pay better wages. The study argues that removing constraints to doing business, new entry and vibrant competition should help increase the number of high growth firms. In the same way, policies that encourage competition, level the playing field and equalize access to finance, as well as improve skills, would allow for more labor and capital to flow to the most productive firms, increasing overall productivity in the Serbian economy. Higher productivity can bring an additional 1 percent increase in GDP growth.
  5. Expanding exports. Exports of goods and services, an important component of Serbia’s success, grew from 30 percent of GDP in 2006 to over 50 percent of GDP in 2018. Particularly strong growth was observed in computing (27 percent annually) and professional services (11 percent annually). To further increase the share of exports in GDP to 80 percent, the level already reached by similar small transition economies that recently joined the EU, Serbia needs to integrate more into global value chains, as already shown by the IMF study, introduce policies that upgrade export supporting services (e.g., transport, warehousing and brokerage services), and improve the operating environment for exporters (e.g., access to raw materials, cost and inefficiency of border compliance). Good exporters enjoy higher productivity growth, employ new technology, efficient organization and modern management practices. 
  6. Enabling business environment. Serbian enterprise, financial means, and skilled labor will not be sufficient without the right enabling business environment. A transition from government passively permitting business development, to government truly enabling business is essential. It hinges on improved transparency of business-related administrative procedures, simplification of overly complex laws, and improving governance and curbing corruption. The study asserts that comprehensive implementation of these policies has been elusive thus far. Tangible progress in this sphere could add 0.9 percent to GDP annually.
  7. Unleashing competition. The role of competition policy is to minimize anti‐competitive business practices and curb anti‐competitive state interventions. International experience shows that a comprehensive national competition policy can bring substantial economy-wide and sector‐specific gains. In Serbia, 60 percent of distortions in product markets are introduced by government, especially by widespread state ownership and special treatment of SOEs – through subsidies, preferential access to credit, and protectionist regulation. In addition to removing these, Serbia also can unleash competition by unbundling monopolies, levelling access to infrastructure, removing price controls, or curbing formal powers of incumbents in key sectors, such as energy, transport, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and professional services. Reducing and reforming state aid would bring significant benefits, but requires hard choices, notably redirecting a large share of support from unproductive state-owned enterprises to productive investment.
Along with maintaining macroeconomic stability, this policy agenda would constitute a national declaration, a national social and political compact that Serbia intends to seize the opportunity it has created for itself through past reforms. None of this will come easy. In 2019, the global environment has deteriorated; leading indicators suggest a further slowdown in global growth and trade in the near term. But Serbia can safeguard its hard‐won macroeconomic stability and take its economic transformation to the next level. Reforms will at once promote growth and build needed resilience for the coming period and beyond. But this goal will elude Serbia if it does not construct a better foundation for faster growth. The challenge is not only economic. It requires courageous, decisive and bold political commitment as well as strengthening government effectiveness and accountability.

Industry 4.0 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution will Affect How We Work and Live
Exactly four years ago Klaus Schwab coined the term Fourth Industrial Revolution in a short article published in Foreign Affairs. The opening paragraph was dramatic in its tone and substance: “We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.”
The concept was so influential that it entered Encyclopedia Britannica already in May 2018 by defining the Fourth Industrial Revolution (or IR 4.0 for short) as “a series of social, political, cultural, and economic upheavals that will unfold over the 21st century. Building on the widespread availability of digital technologies that were the result of the Third Industrial, or Digital, Revolution, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be driven largely by the convergence of digital, biological, and physical innovations.”

Building on the digitalization and ITC started in the Third Industrial Revolution, the Fourth additionally harbored technologies such as artificial intelligence, genome editing, augmented reality, robotics, and 3-D printing which are deeply changing the way humans create, exchange, and distribute value. Even more than in previous revolutions, this will profoundly transform social and political institutions (rules), industries, and individuals. The social and political choices that we make today are likely to influence the world in decades and centuries to come. 
Over and above the impressive breakthroughs in individual research fields and emerging technologies, it is important to note the additional crosscutting impacts and synergies between them. Schwab quotes examples that redefine and blur the boundary between the digital and physical worlds due to: fast expanding low-cost gene sequencing; the use of artificial intelligence in augmenting processes and skills in practically every industry; applying neuroscience and neuro-technology to enhance the human brain; bringing large-scale automation to century-old transport and manufacturing paradigms; and harnessing technologies such as block-chain and smart materials.
Schwab rightly warns that implied changes in values, incentive systems and economic institutions (rules) will likely transform how we communicate, learn, entertain ourselves, and relate to one another, and how we understand ourselves as human beings, lead to societal transformation at a global scale. Furthermore, the increasingly rapid pace of change and everyday life will have “an impact on human identities, communities, and political structures. As a result, our responsibilities to one another, our opportunities for self-realization, and our ability to positively impact the world are intricately tied to and shaped by how we engage with the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This revolution is not just happening to us—we are not its victims—but rather we have the opportunity and even responsibility to give it structure and purpose.”

As before in history, this revolution is bound to have both positive and negative impacts on different stakeholders. Some nations have benefited greatly from previous revolutions, but the sustainability of these benefits depended on their ability to fairly distribute the resulting gains and address future risks (i.e. externalities at national and global level).

The novelty in this revolution are risks such as cybersecurity threats, massive misinformation through digital media, potential unemployment, or increasing social and income inequality.
One of the key concerns among economists (e.g. Brynjolfsson and McAfee) is that the Fourth Industrial Revolution could yield greater inequality and, potentially, disrupt labor markets. They warn that the net displacement of workers by machines might exacerbate the gap between returns to capital and returns to labor. But note that it is also possible that, in aggregate, there may be a net increase in safe and rewarding jobs. Schwab notes that, in his view, IR 4.0 will stress the importance of talent, creative innovative potential of individuals, more than technical skills and the presence of capital.

Industry 4.0 as a subset of the broader Forth Industrial Revolution is a fast growing field which has attracted huge research interest. Based on an overview of recent literature (Wikipedia), Industry 4.0 includes many components such as:
  • Mobile devices
  • Internet of Things (IoT) platforms
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) platforms
  • Location detection technologies
  • Advanced human-machine interfaces
  • Authentication and fraud detection
  • 3D printing
  • Smart sensors
  • Big data analytics and advanced algorithms
  • Multilevel customer interaction and customer profiling
  • Augmented reality/ wearables
  • Fog, Edge and Cloud computing
  • Data visualization and triggered "real-time" training.

The main drivers of Industry 4.0 are digitization and integration of vertical and horizontal value chains, digitization of product and service offering (supply), and digital business models and customer access.

Key challenges in implementing Industry 4.0 are: Economic (High costs, Business model adaptation, unclear economic benefits due to excessive investment and unclear costs);
Social (Privacy concerns, Surveillance and distrust, General reluctance of stakeholders to embrace, Threat of redundancy to corporate IT department, Loss of many jobs to automatic processes and IT-controlled processes, especially for blue collar workers); Political (Lack of regulation, standards and forms of certifications, Unclear legal issues and data security concern); and Organizational / Internal including IT security issues, reliability and stability for machine to machine (M2M) communication, maintenance of integrity of production processes, need to avoid any IT snags causing expensive production outages, need to protect industrial know-how, possible lack of adequate skills to expedite transition to Industry 4.0, possible low commitment from top management, insufficient qualification of employees.

Serbia: Policy responses to unleash the New Growth Agenda in 4.0 Global Economy
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has already had a deep and lasting impact on all industries, on both the supply and the demand side of goods and services. To enable the economy to efficiently and effectively respond to past and forthcoming challenges and focus on the New Growth Agenda, it is essential to create and maintain an adequate pro-growth environment based on macroeconomic stability, improved public and private sector governance, and new industrial policy, before implementing the seven policy recommendations discussed above (boost investment, secure financing for growing companies, raise skills and productivity, expand exports, provide enabling business environment, and unleash the power of competition).

Overall, the main challenge going forward will be to design and implement appropriate new industrial policy that would enable timely institutional and policy changes to keep the Serbian economy competitive in the world marked by disruptive changes across practically all industries. This will require exceptional brain power that can be pooled together only through a bipartisan effort. Equally important, political economy aspects must be addressed and managed beforehand to align multiple stakeholders and avoid resistance or opposition to change.

The second important challenge will be to generate and sustain an improved public and private investment effort. Presently, the size of investment is too small, the structure is not aligned with likely infrastructure and human capital (knowledge) gaps, the efficiency is too low, and the efficacy in achieving stated objectives is inadequate. Major improvements are needed in public investment planning, from identification to preparation, appraisal and implementation. Obvious areas for plausible interventions include building capacity for critical stages of selecting investment priorities, doing quality project preparation, competitive financing and implementation. In terms of structure, public investment will be expected to devote an increasing share to human capital development, ICT and connectivity, science, R&D and innovations, while meeting the highest international standards. Finally, we need smart public investment focused on enabling and crowding in private investment aligned with the demands of the global economy and supported by a transparent incentive system that would enable the use of recent technological changes and respond to challenges of  the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These efforts will also contribute to growth of service exports in the areas of project preparation and implementation.

It is clear that the burden of change will be on specific sectors and ministries that have a key role in modernizing skills, raising productivity, and improving quality of the workforce (education, labor, health), provide financing (banking and capital markets). It is less obvious that equal burden of change will be on less visible aspects of our economic, social and political fabric where a clear consensus is needed to successfully address the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In conclusion, we would like to stress that the true spirit and tradition of KBF is to promote bold ideas that scan help us better understand the challenges and potential of the  Industry 4.0 and the paradigm change it will bring to the fields of economics and business management. The aim of KBF 2020 is to motivate all participants to understand and actively shape the emerging economic and business ecosystem striving to embark on an innovation-driven global economy based on universal mobility.

Association of Serbian Economists, as organizer of the Forum, strives to sustain a network of influential stakeholders from all relevant fields and structure regular interactions through debates, dialogues, and knowledge sharing. Our vision is to become a true force for a better Serbia by creating consensus on fertile and feasible ideas that could help to overcome persistent economic problems and form a foundation of a sustainable economy converging to European Union income levels and social welfare. Again, the choice to participate in the Forum is up to you! Welcome!