Successfully investing in Serbia

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last updated on May 24, 2019

  

How do you assess the current economic situation in Serbia?

Serbia's economy in 2018 was characterized by relative economic stability in terms of low and predictable inflation, a mild surplus in the area of public finances and consequently, a declining level of public debt, with the stability of the financial system and an increase in employment. The main sources of this growth in the past year were an increase in investment and personal consumption, as well as positive economic situation in countries of the European Union, the main foreign trade partners. The basis for the maintenance and further acceleration of economic activity should enable the continuation of structural reforms, as well as an increase in production activity in export-oriented economic activities, especially those that bear bigger added value.
 
According to the Republic Institute for Statistics, the economic activity of Serbia, measured by the rate of GDP growth in 2018, is 4.4 percent, compared to the initially planned 3.5 percent. It is estimated that gross fixed capital formation in 2018, compared to the previous year, recorded a real growth of 9.1 percent, while agricultural output grew by a physical volume of 16.3 percent.
 
Positive macroeconomic trends were also addressed by credit rating agencies that confirmed the rating of Serbia in 2018. Standard and Poor`s rated a credit rating of “BB”, with a tendency in the coming year to improve
 
Serbia continued its regional leadership in attracting foreign direct investments, which in 2017 amounted to 2.4 billion euros, while in 2018 they surpassed the excpected amount and according to the preliminary data of the National Bank of Serbia amounted to 3.0 billion euros
 
Serbia is having a lot of investors and economy is generally in good shape apart from public owned companies.
 

How would you describe the investment climate in Serbia? Which sectors hold great potential?

IT sector is still the sector with biggest potential, which is being developed rapidly and is even no.1, moving agriculture from the first position as the biggest Serbian export. Lots of successfull foreign companies recognise Serbia as a good market for re-location of their operations. Great advantage is highly skilled workforce with strong language skills.

 

What challenges does a German entrepreneur face when engaging in Serbia?

Different country, different rules, even though it might sound the same on the first sight. For example, Serbia and Germany have the same full-time working hours during the day. The slightest difference is that daily break of 30 minutes in Serbia is considered to be a part of a 8 daily working hours, while in Germany it is not a case, there is 8 hours of work plus a 30 minutes daily break.
 
The slightest changes make big differences.

 

Should Serbia tend to orient east or west?

Most of the Serbian people are friendy with Eastern food and culture but will send their children to the Western countries. 

 

How do you think Serbia will develop?

As citizens of Serbia, we are hoping that the development of our State will lead to a good shape of the same, with good court jurisdiction, legal protection of human rights and stabile economy. After this goal is achieved, where we are and with whom we are is not relevant.
 
Serbia is trying to harmonize its legislation with EU legislation in order to enter into the European Union. Implemetations made are mainly focused on empowerment of legislation regarding corruption, human rights, etc.

   

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