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Moving Mountains

Bilateral relations between Serbia and Germany are marked by a strong partnership, particularly in the economic sphere. Even geopolitical crises, regional conflicts or high inflation and economic slowdowns in key export markets haven’t been able to significantly disrupt the achieving of results

Germany provides Serbia with considerable support in introducing crucial political and economic reforms aimed at fostering democratic change, strengthening the rule of law and facilitating Serbia’s progress on its EU accession journey.

Development cooperation between Germany and Serbia is geared primarily towards assisting Serbia in its EU accession process. Key areas of focus include green initiatives, renewable energy development, energy efficiency enhancement and sustainable economic transformation. Notably, Germany has entered into a strategic climate partnership with Serbia and the Western Balkan region, demonstrating its commitment to environmental sustainability across the region.

Additional areas encompass vocational education and training, assistance to the Serbian private sector and the promotion of good governance. Germany has been a pivotal contributor in these areas since 2000, providing approximately 2.3 billion euros, fortifying its existing position as the largest bilateral donor.

By all measures, this cooperation is most fruitful when it comes to economic cooperation, while the two countries have differing positions on Kosovo independence and some issues related to foreign policy and views on the Ukraine conflict. Nevertheless, these differences have not hindered the overall relationship, which remains robust.

Accomplishments to date indicate that these two partner countries have the potential to achieve even greater success and strengthen their existing relationship

From an economic standpoint, Germany has emerged as a key partner for Serbia. The presence in Serbia of over 900 companies with German capital has been instrumental in driving economic growth and job creation. The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce has played a crucial role in facilitating this economic cooperation. And indeed, judging by numbers, it is a success story. The commercial goods exchange between Germany and Serbia has experienced a remarkable surge, with an almost 18 per cent increase in the first four months of 2023 alone. This follows a substantial nominal increase of 26.3% in the trade exchange between the two countries in 2022. These positive results can be attributed to a growing number of German companies either establishing or expanding their manufacturing operations in Serbia. These endeavours primarily involve the production of components for the German industrial sector, further solidifying bilateral economic ties.

These achievements suggest that these two partner nations could move mountains and may further excel in their current relations.

In conclusion, while Serbia and Germany have enjoyed considerable economic success and maintain a strong partnership, it is essential to acknowledge areas requiring improvement and challenges that lie ahead. The continued growth of economic ties, coupled with efforts to mitigate risks and enhance market stability, will be crucial in ensuring the continued success of these bilateral relations.

Photo: Freepik

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