Even before the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic and the start of the war in Ukraine, Serbia had already proved itself to be a good investment location. The current situation in Ukraine has only accelerated the drive towards nearshoring and made Serbia more visible as a potential location for the relocating of production operations
We are all witnessing the major impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain industry all over the world, in terms of slowing down or stopping flows of goods and services. Companies are reorganising their production operations to be more resilient to such shocks in the future. Although the pandemic hit many businesses, it also smoothed the way for new production alternatives. Global companies are seeking new production locations in Europe for at least some product areas, and the locations they’re looking for are attractively priced, able to meet the quality requirements and – last, but not least – able to make products available within shorter transport times.
As the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, one of our main goals is to accelerate cooperation between German buyers and potential Serbian suppliers. For this purpose, together with our colleagues from 10 other AHKs, we launched a joint initiative to create the largest supplier community in Europe. Our first milestone on that path was the creating of the AHK Industrial Suppliers Forum – a digital platform that we will use for business matchmaking. Additionally, we also introduced new working group for our members: Supply Chains in Serbia, where companies can tackle all potential issues and discuss important supply chain topics relevant to their businesses.
One of Serbia’s main strengths, and a competitive advantage that is enticing foreign investors, is certainly the educated workforce that also brings added value
Even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the start of the war in Ukraine, Serbia had already proved itself to be a good investment location. The pandemic didn’t cause a slowdown in investments, at least those coming from Germany. Despite the current situation, major investors from Germany opened their factories or expanded their operations or facilities in Serbia: MTU, Boysen Abgassysteme, fischer automotive, SMP automotive, ZF Serbia, Brose, Continental, Hansgrohe, Bizerba etc. Serbia and other countries of the Western Balkan region have high potential to position themselves as first-choice locations and destinations for relocating production operations to serve countries in Europe. One of Serbia’s main strengths, and a competitive advantage that is enticing foreign investors, is certainly the educated workforce that also brings added value. By introducing the dual education system, companies offer their employees opportunities to develop their skills and qualifications. That’s why many companies invest in research and development while opening training centres near their facilities. Investors are coming here to stay.
The current situation in Ukraine has only accelerated the drive towards nearshoring and made Serbia more visible as a potential destination for the relocating of production operations. According to information from the Serbian Business Registers Agency, 294 new companies from Russia and Ukraine have been registered in Serbia. The main business focus of these companies are IT and consulting services. Given this fact, Serbia certainly has, and will benefit from, this competitive advantage.