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Director Of Development, Technical Operations And Innovation MPC Properties

Creating The Perfect Synergy

Demand for commercial real estate has remained stable and is expected to preserve that stability, which also applies to real estate commercial terms, which...

Portonovi

Endless Summer Adventures And Relaxation On The Adriatic Coast

Portonovi Resort, a luxurious and unique destination that lies at the heart of the Bay of Kotor, announces the more than exciting summer season...

Pavel Maco, President Of The Executive Board Of Mobi Banka

Banking Identity As A Universal Identity

Mobi Banka recently reached two milestones: a hundred thousand completely online loans; and a hundred million transactions. The bank ended last year with 650,000...

Vladimir Vasić, Secretary General Of The Association Of Serbian Banks

Serbia Needs A Stable Banking Sector

Crisis situations show best that Serbia definitely needs its Association of Banks, an organisation that performs important work for banks and the entire financial...

Predrag Mihajlović, Executive Board President And CEO At OTP Banka Srbija

High-end, Trustworthy And Reliable

We create value through our distinctive approach, which places the client at the centre of everything we do at OTP banka. Whether providing capital...

Branimir Jovanović, Economist, The Vienna Institute For International Economic Studies

Balancing Between East And West Comes At A Cost

Whether Serbia will emerge as a winner of the nearshoring trend over the coming years will depend primarily on political developments. If Serbia stays with the EU, that may well happen

The war in Ukraine is likely to accelerate the nearshoring trend. One of the reasons nearshoring has been gaining momentum in recent years has been geopolitical tension (mainly related to China), and the war in Ukraine only adds to that. Our research has shown that the Western Balkan economies are among the first nearshoring options for German companies, due to their geographical proximity, availability of labour and low wages, but also for cultural reasons and due to the good reputation of Balkan workers. And Serbia has managed to establish itself as the region’s economic leader, attracting more than half of all FDI in the region over the last 10 years, with average FDI inflows of around 7% of its GDP in recent years, even during the pandemic. So, taking all this into consideration, one could conclude that Serbia is indeed likely to benefit from the reshuffling of the global economy that is set to come in the years ahead.

However, Serbia is facing one major challenge that brings all of this into question. That challenge relates to its policy of balancing between East and West, which will be very difficult to maintain in the coming period. Serbia is among the very few European countries that haven’t imposed sanctions on Russia (together with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Turkey and Belarus).

Our research has shown that the western Balkan economies are among the first nearshoring options for German companies, due to their geographical proximity, availability of labour and low wages, but also for cultural reasons and due to the good reputation of Balkan workers

This is not viewed very favourably by the EU, because it undermines EU efforts to ensure Russia is made accountable for its actions. It seems that the EU is letting this go unpunished for now, but strong diplomatic pressure has been applied and it is highly likely that Serbia will soon be given an ‘us or them’ choice. If that happens and Serbia decides to turn its back on the EU and side with Russia, that will lead to significant economic losses for Serbia.

Yes, Russia is an important economic partner for Serbia – with four per cent of Serbian exports heading to Russia and seven per cent of Serbian FDI coming from Russia – and Serbia did indeed receive a favourable price for Russian gas several months ago, which saves the country around 300 million euros, according to President Vučić. However, this is dwarfed by what Serbia gains from the EU – with around two-thirds of Serbian exports heading to the EU and just as much FDI coming to Serbia from EU member states. And Serbia also received around €1.5 billion from the EU budget during the 2014-2020 period, via IPA II funds.

So, whether Serbia will emerge as a winner of the nearshoring trend over the coming years will depend primarily on political developments. If Serbia stays with the EU, that may well happen.

Comment by Zoran Panović

Era Of (Post)historical Misgivings

The anxious apprehension of HBO show Game Of Thrones, or George R. R. Martin’s original source book, is easy to recognise in today’s era...

Duško Radosavljević, Political Scientist

Regret Comes To He Who Takes And He Who Doesn’t

If opposition leaders don’t agree to help Vučić navigate his way across to the other side of the political shore, they will betray their...

Dragan Đukanović, Professor At The University Of Belgrade Faculty Of Political Sciences

New Serbian Government Must Be Clearly Pro-european

Both neighbouring states and leading western countries like the U.S. or Germany will continue to insist that the new government of Serbia clearly determines...

Srećko Djukić, Diplomat, Former Ambassador, Member Of The EPUS Forum For International Relations

The International Community Will Provide The Impetus In Either/or Decisions

The country’ pro-russian and anti-european political scene can be reconfigured, but not in one fell swoop and not solely by the ruling party or...

EU Preparing Investment Plan For Western Balkans Worth 30 Billion Euros

The leaders of the European Union and the Western Balkans held a four-hour discussion in Brussels on the challenges...

Alessandra Moretti Is The New Chair Of EP Delegation To Serbia

The European Parliament (EP) has elected Alessandra Moretti, a member of the Socialists and Democrats from Italy, as chair...

Russia’s Ruble At Its Strongest Level In 7 Years

Russia’s ruble hit 52.3 to the dollar on Wednesday, an increase of roughly 1.3% on the previous day and...

EU Council Pushes For Further Actions To Protect Journalists

Against the backdrop of increasing threats to journalists and thus impediments to freedom of expression and freedom to inform,...

Polish Ruling Party Chief Leaves Government Post

Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS), on Tuesday resigned from his post as deputy prime...

EU Preparing Investment Plan For Western Balkans Worth 30 Billion Euros

The leaders of the European Union and the Western Balkans held a four-hour discussion in Brussels on the challenges...

Alessandra Moretti Is The New Chair Of EP Delegation To Serbia

The European Parliament (EP) has elected Alessandra Moretti, a member of the Socialists and Democrats from Italy, as chair...

Russia’s Ruble At Its Strongest Level In 7 Years

Russia’s ruble hit 52.3 to the dollar on Wednesday, an increase of roughly 1.3% on the previous day and...

EU Council Pushes For Further Actions To Protect Journalists

Against the backdrop of increasing threats to journalists and thus impediments to freedom of expression and freedom to inform,...

Polish Ruling Party Chief Leaves Government Post

Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS), on Tuesday resigned from his post as deputy prime...

EU Preparing Investment Plan For Western Balkans Worth 30 Billion Euros

The leaders of the European Union and the Western Balkans held a four-hour discussion in Brussels on the challenges...

Alessandra Moretti Is The New Chair Of EP Delegation To Serbia

The European Parliament (EP) has elected Alessandra Moretti, a member of the Socialists and Democrats from Italy, as chair...

Russia’s Ruble At Its Strongest Level In 7 Years

Russia’s ruble hit 52.3 to the dollar on Wednesday, an increase of roughly 1.3% on the previous day and...

EU Council Pushes For Further Actions To Protect Journalists

Against the backdrop of increasing threats to journalists and thus impediments to freedom of expression and freedom to inform,...

Polish Ruling Party Chief Leaves Government Post

Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS), on Tuesday resigned from his post as deputy prime...
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