World Bank report: Macedonian and Serbian economies would be strengthened by inclusion of the LGBTI community
With the inclusion of the LGBT community, the economy of Serbia would receive an additional 293 million dollars per year, and the economy of North Macedonia - an additional 64 million dollars.
According to World Bank estimates, the annual gross domestic product (GDP) of Serbia and North Macedonia would increase by an average of 0,6 percent if barriers to entry into the labor market were reduced for LGBTI people who face discrimination due to their sexual orientation. , gender identity and expression and gender characteristics, it is stated in the new reports of the World Bank (WB), Tanjug announced, reports Politika rs. By including the LGBTI community, the economy of Serbia would receive an additional 293 million dollars per year, and the economy of North Macedonia would receive an additional 64 million dollars.
"Inclusion is essential for realizing the full development potential of countries. Access to basic services and markets and the possibility of a dignified life are the foundations of successful and sustainable development," said the World Bank's director for the Western Balkans, Shaoking Yu. According to her, this research shows that the inclusion of LGBTI people is not only "the right thing to do", but also the basis for a stable economy.
Serbia and North Macedonia have introduced important reforms that protect the rights of the LGBTI community, but they still face discrimination and exclusion, according to WB reports. In Serbia, LGBTI people are still more likely to be economically disadvantaged than the general population, and one in seven LGBT people in North Macedonia still face discrimination in the workplace in terms of hiring, firing and professional advancement.
"Reports show that reducing the stigma and discrimination experiences of LGBTI people can have a significant positive impact on the economy," says World Bank Global Advisor on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Clifton Cortez. He believes that the achievement of these goals requires the implementation of the existing legal protection against discrimination, as well as "further strengthening of the legal protection of LGBTI persons in areas such as education, employment and health".
The WB reports note that strengthening the inclusion of LGBTI people requires the implementation of key reforms agreed as part of the EU accession process. More effective enforcement of existing laws can better protect the rights of LGBTI people in the labor market in order to attract and retain top talent in an inclusive manner, the report concludes, reports Tanjug.