Created in 2016 to attract more foreign investment into the country and support local business, Development Agency of Serbia (RAS) is at the forefront of building the economic strength of the country and boosting its reputation and global competitiveness.
GMI POST spoke with RAS Director for International Cooperation Nikola Jankovic and Public Relations and Communications Advisor Dragana Krunic to ask them: Why invest in Serbia?
“We are here to show all the different opportunities in Serbia from north to south, from east to west,” said Jankovic, who stressed that foreign direct investment has grown steadily over the past four years and has averaged 3 billion euros annually. Since 2007, inward foreign investment has amounted to more than 37 billion euros.
Jankovic attributes the growing interest in Serbia to four main factors: the availability of highly skilled labor as evidenced by Serbia's low unemployment rate of 12.8%; competitive operating costs relative to neighboring countries; its strategic location, which gives businesses an opportunity to operate as a manufacturing hub for duty-free exports to more than 1 billion consumers in the EU; and corporate and payroll tax incentives provided by the government to foreign investors.
By promoting all of these benefits, RAS has built a well-connected ecosystem of international and domestic companies, among which are Nidec, ZF Friedrichshafen, Toyo Tires, Bizerba, Schneider Electric, Yazaki, Johnson Electric, Siemens, and Bosch.
“They have a good partner in our agency to help and guide them through the whole process,” said Jankovic, who mentions that Serbia leads Western Balkan nations, as well as the Central and Eastern European regions, in the number of greenfield projects. Of the 147 greenfield projects in the Western Balkans, 105 are located in Serbia.
Meanwhile Krunic urges more investors to check out Serbia, adding that RAS is ready to provide support, from planning all the way to the implementation.
“We communicate with our partner investors and offer after-care services, so they can be in touch with us for any issues even after implementation. RAS Direct Investment Advisors are available at all times to answer any questions or provide assistance. That's the kind of stable and reliable partner they can expect in Serbia,” Krunic said.