The Trees and the Forest

October 15, 2012

Loup J. Brefort

" If you care about your forest, don’t spend energy trying to prop up a dying old tree, but help young sapling grow healthy instead. "

A Chinese proverb

The economy is like a forest. Making sure that new young healthy enterprises develop and grow, thus creating new jobs, is far more productive than trying to save at great cost enterprises that are past their life.

Sure enough, it is always emotionally difficult when a magnificent old tree falls to the ground. It was part of a landscape we were proud of and was providing a home to the birds and squirrels. They will have to move on and find another place. I am sure many still regard a number of public and socially-owned enterprises created in older days the way we look at these trees. But, as every good forester know, the survival of a healthy forest relies on renewing it with young new shoots.

In this regard, the signals sent lately on direction of economic policy seem to be the right ones. A sunset clause for state support to old industries and a focus on renewing the economic and productive  landscape of Serbia with the new shoots created by welcoming FDI and eliminating construction, tax and other barriers that prevent saplings to take root and grow to mature trees in an otherwise fertile ground of resources, skills and proximity to markets.

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