Explore the highlights of AmCham Serbia’s dynamic year-long journey of growth, collaboration, and transformation, encompassing pioneering initiatives, recognizable programs, and impactful events that drive the change in shaping and advocating for a better framework for doing business.
OCTOBER 12, 2022
EMPOWER HER INITIATIVE LAUNCHING
AmCham Serbia joins the EMPOWER HER initiative, promoting economic empowerment for women. The initiative is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Commerce, AmCham EU, and AmChams Europe. The event was formally opened by Ivan Miletić of Philip Morris International and AmCham First Vice President. The event included a speech given by Brankica Janković, Serbian Equality Commissioner, while video message addresses were also provided by Pamela Ward, Regional Senior Commercial Officer Southeast Europe at the U.S. Department of Trade, and Susan Danger, CEO of AmCham EU.
A panel debate was moderated by AmCham Executive Director Vera Nikolić Dimić and included Jasmina Knežević, CEO of Acibadem Bel Medic, Violeta Jovanović, Executive Director at the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED), Vesna Damjanić, Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg Adria TV, and Nina Čaprić, Government Relations Manager at NCR. The panelists discussed ways to encourage companies to engage in efforts to advance a more diverse and inclusive workplace that supports women.
NOVEMBER 3, 2022
THE 9TH GENERATION OF THE AMCHAMPS PROGRAM ENROLLED AND LAUNCHED
This AmChamps generation attracted the largest ever intake of 56 participants, with students as mentees and managers from AmCham general membership as mentors, accounting for 28 each.
During 2022/2023, the mentors and their mentees participated in projects and workshops, thus gaining practical experience that will help them in their future professional development.
As the program is competitive, the winners look forward to receiving full scholarships for the Executive MBA and master’s programs at CITY College, University of York, Europe Campus.
The lectures and workshops created for this generation included: Mentoring; An Introduction to Coaching; Environmental Protection and Compliance; Agile workshop, field trips & company visits; Family Business; Motivation; Case Study Tips & Tricks; Strategy Models and Leadership; Neuromarketing, Innovation and Creativity; Business Transformation & Digital Transformation; Public Speaking/Networking; Meet the AmCham President; Algorithmic Leadership; Getting Products to Market; and many more…
DECEMBER 13, 2022
AMCHAM SERBIA 10TH LAP TIME CONFERENCE
AmCham Serbia’s traditional landmark event, the Lap Time Conference, was held for the tenth consecutive time in 2022 and was opened by AmCham Serbia President Stefan Lazarević, while Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill gave keynote speeches.
The survey that identified the key reform priorities was presented. The vast majority of AmCham companies (86%) believed their business results would meet or exceed projections in 2022, despite the Ukraine crisis. Member companies that have also reported negative impacts of the crisis have faced falling profits (20 percent), revenues (14 percent), and planned investment (16 percent), with effects on employment remaining minimal. AmCham members expected to sustain their current operations in 2023, or even to grow, with 96 percent planning to retain or expand their workforce.
Discussion with relevant government ministers shed light on how to steer reforms towards the removing of key obstacles that hinder faster economic growth in these very challenging times.
FEBRUARY 8, 2023
AMCHAM SERBIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING
AmCham ended 2022 with the greatest ever number of member companies. As AmCham Executive Director Vera Nikolić Dimić underlined during the presentation of the AmCham Annual Report, the association boasts 231 international and local companies operating in Serbia, which have collectively invested over €14 billion and employ more than 100,000 Serbian citizens.
AmCham Serbia President Stefan Lazarević emphasized four priority areas that will be in the focus of the association: continuing the digital transformation of society and the economy, fully implementing the green agenda for an environmentally friendly and energy efficient Serbia, enhancing the health care system, and assisting regional initiatives in support of Serbia’s EU integration, including the Open Balkan initiative.
The members’ vote saw Igor Lončarević of KPMG elected Secretary Treasurer, while Marko Martinović of PepsiCo becoming Untitled Governor. The event’s keynote speaker was U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill.
APRIL 24, 2023
CONFERENCE ‘REGIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION – OPEN BALKAN INITIATIVE: WHAT CAN BUSINESSES EXPECT?’
A conference entitled ‘Regional Economic Cooperation – Open Balkan Initiative: What can businesses expect?’ focused on regional economic cooperation platforms and the needs of companies for continued integration. A ministerial panel comprised Serbian Minister for European Integration Tanja Miščević and Serbian Minister of Internal and Foreign Trade Tomislav Momirović, while representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Ministry of Internal and Foreign Trade, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, National Bank of Serbia, and other relevant institutions shared their views on the panel debates covering the free movement of goods and the free movement of capital.
The event also presented research conducted jointly by AmCham in Albania, AmCham North Macedonia, and AmCham Serbia that emphasizes the potential for regional economic integration. It was stressed that some progress has been achieved in terms of the free movement of goods, while improvements are desired in terms of labor market access, the movement of capital, and the liberalization of services.
The importance of attracting foreign investors and improving trade was also highlighted.
MAY 30, 2023
ESG CHAMPIONS CONFERENCE
Recognizing the significant efforts that companies invest in ESG, AmCham Serbia and consulting firm Kearney launched the ESG Champions initiative in late 2022. It aimed to recognize companies that achieve the best results in environmental protection, social responsibility, and conscientious corporate governance.
The conference saw company IKEA announced and awarded as 2023 ESG Champion.
The award ceremony was followed by three swift panel discussions that brought together business representatives to highlight the importance of developing a green portfolio for enhancing global competitiveness, generational and cultural differences as an opportunity for maximizing business performance, and the best responsible corporate governance practices.
The event highlighted the best ESG practices in the local market and promoted discussion about the common mistakes companies make in implementing ESG strategies and ways to avoid them.
DELEGATION OF AMCHAMS IN EUROPE VISIT WASHINGTON, D.C. AND HOUSTON, TEXAS
AmCham Serbia Executive Director Vera Nikolić Dimić joined an executive AmChams in Europe (ACE) delegation attending the annual 2023 U.S. Conference in Washington, D.C., and Houston, Texas, to discuss policy with leading representatives of the U.S. administration. The group met with leading U.S. stakeholders, including Jose Fernandez, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, U.S. Department of State;
Marisa Lago, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce; and Suzanne Clark, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO. They discussed the importance of the transatlantic relationship, the competitiveness of Europe, energy, and other global challenges. The delegation also met with representatives of Export-Import Bank, POLITICO, member companies, and business leaders from Collins Aerospace, ExxonMobil, and Honeywell. They also paid visit to the NASA Space Center. Nikolić Dimić had an additional meeting with Serbian Ambassador to the U.S., H.E. Marko Đurić.
JUNE 12-16, 2023
AMCHAM SERBIA – DOORKNOCK DELEGATION TO THE U.S.
An AmCham Serbia delegation embarked on an economic mission to the U.S. with the aim of strengthening institutional and economic prerequisites for increasing bilateral trade and opportunities for new investments between Serbia and the U.S. The delegation sought to showcase the positive experiences of American companies already operating in the Serbian market.
AmCham Serbia President Stefan Lazarević led the delegation, which comprised board members Ronald Seeliger, Second VP, Igor Lončarević, Secretary Treasurer, and Goran Vasić, Untitled Governor, as well as Deputy Executive Director Amalija Pavić. They met with David De Falco, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Gabriel Escobar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, representatives of USAID and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, as well as members of the U.S. Congress and Senate. Discussions focused on the avoidance of double taxation, the renewal of the general system of preferences, the DFC’s active engagement in the region, and investments by American companies in various sectors.