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French-Serbian Chamber Of Commerce Activities

A Reliable Partner For Business Development

As the leading French-Serbian business network, the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce is an institution that brings together French companies in Serbia and Serbian and other international companies that maintain trade relations with France or with French companies. The Chamber is also a reliable partner for all French companies that want to obtain information or start a business in Serbia

The main role of CCIFS is to enable its members to access a network of companies, exchange experience and knowledge and find cooperation partners among other members in Serbia and around the world. In order to promote French-Serbian economic exchange and enable communication between member companies, CCIFS annually organises about 50 events of different kinds. At these networking events many acquaintances have been made, which have grown into business partnerships. To the joy of all members, we have continued the long tradition of organising speed business meetings (the last in the series was with members of the Hellenic Association of Serbia, the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian Business Club), as well as monthly meetings, this time called Talks over a coffee with.… We are pleased that we have continued organising training in the CCIFS Training Centre, and with the format of our webinars, such as workshops with lawyers and the National Employment Service. Online meetings of clubs (Club for Sustainable Development, Transport and Logistics, Infrastructure and Construction, CFO, HR, Digital, Agroclub and CSR) have continued unhindered, in which members have exchanged experience and advised each other on how to respond to various market requirements.

CLIMATE NEUTRAL & SMART CITIES CONFERENCE

The Climate Neutral & Smart Cities conference was organised on 15th June at the French Embassy in Belgrade, as the first in a series of events of a large project The Quest for Net Zero was launched by the CCIFS Club for Sustainable Development, in the context of harmonising the Serbian economy with the EU’s Green Deal.

The aim of the conference was to present French expertise in the sector of sustainable development and environmental protection through the most modern projects of leading companies. It was a great opportunity for companies to present their innovative projects to the target audience, which consisted of decision makers (ministries, local governments, businesspeople, the scientific community) and local and foreign experts.

The conference was opened by then French ambassador to Serbia Pierre Bashar, State Secretary at the Ministry of Mining and Energy Jovanka Atanacković and CCIFS Vice-President Philippe Thiel.

The panels presented some of the most innovative models for urban development that improve the quality of life in cities while reducing emissions of harmful gases.

LAUNCH OF THE “HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?” CAMPAIGN

During the Covid-19 pandemic and the crisis that gripped companies in Serbia, and in order to carry out ts main activity of supporting members, the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce launched a campaign called How Can We Help You? During and after the state of emergency, the entire CCIFS team was available to members at all times, to provide them with the best possible assistance and support during the crisis. Several surveys were conducted to assess the impact of the virus on the operational and financial activities of CCIFS members on the Serbian market. The results helped the Chamber better understand members’ needs .

SPEED BUSINESS MEETING

The campaign, which proved extremely successful and met with positive reactions from CCIFS members, has continued in 2022, when the global and local economies face new business challenges due to the Ukraine crisis.

GALA DINNER

One of the most attractive events of the French- Serbian Chamber of Commerce is the Gala Evening, which is organised once a year and at which the Chamber gathers over 200 guests, diplomats, business people and public figures. The last Gala evening, held on 12th May on the premises of Copernicus 610, had the theme of a cabaret called BONSOIR PARIS, so guests could enjoy stage acts of dance and magic tricks of talented artists. On the same occasion, the annual Grand Prix Awards of the Chamber were awarded in two categories, with special awards for members.

GALA DINNER

The Grand Prix for Innovation was won by Mikroelektronika for a project called Planet Debug, the world’s first Hardware as a service solution for remote access. In the category of Corporate Social Responsibility, the award went to OTP Banka Srbija for the Generator Zero project, dedicated to supporting and rewarding innovative projects that offer sustainable solutions with a real and measurable impact on reducing the carbon footprint, one of today’s greatest challenges. The Chamber also awarded two special prizes for special contributions to the work of the Chamber. The first went to Belgrade Airport (Vinci), for the most active company in the previous year, while the second prize went to the individual who contributed the most to the promotion of the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce: Nebojša Nedeljković, of company Mecafor.

ONLINE CONFERENCE DIALOG 3.0

In cooperation with the Chamber of Italian-Serbian Business people and the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, CCIFS launched a series of online conferences to promote dialogue between companies and state institutions. These associations have held four conferences: with the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs; the Ministry of Environmental Protection; and two with the Tax Administration. Two more associations recently joined this initiative: the Belgian-Serbian Business Association and the Hellenic Business Association of Serbia, with whom a successful dialogue was held with the Ministry of Mining and Energy.

BONJOUR SERBIA

The Bonjour Serbia event was launched by the CCIFS in 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic before being successfully relaunched this year. A series of events in this programme represent an innovative concept of networking that the CCIFS is implementing in cooperation with institutional and strategic partners. The first edition of this event was held in February in Kragujevac.

BONJOUR NIŠ

This was followed by a visit to Kikinda in March and a visit to Niš and Pirot in June. By the end of the year, events of this type will have been held in Novi Sad and Zrenjanin. Participants have the opportunity to attend regional events of various types, dedicated to both the business community and local authorities.

BONJOUR KRAGUJEVAC

The goal is to create synergies and opportunities for members, local businesses and local communities. In addition to presentations of business opportunities and meetings with local companies, in Kragujevac there was an opportunity to visit the State Data Centre, in Kikinda two successful French factories, Mecafor and LeBelier, while in Niš attendees visited the science and technology park and the impressive Tigar Tires factory, which today employs over 4,500 workers.

BONJOUR KIKINDA

LEBOOSTER – CCIFS BUSINESS CENTRE

As part of support for start-ups and enabling French and Serbian companies to more easily integrate into the local market, the CCIFS opened LeBooster Business Centre at its address at the heart of Belgrade, with offices, co-working spaces, virtual offices and conference rooms in a unique French-touch environment. Companies can register a company at the address or rent a desk for a certain period, with complete CCIFS logistics, business and networking support. As an added benefit, by staying at LeBooster Centre, individuals and companies become part of a dynamic business community and have access to a network of contacts, as well as the many CCIFS-organised events.

GLOBAL INDUSTRY

From 17th to 20th May 2020, CCIFS had the pleasure of participating in the GLOBAL INDUSTRIE fair in Paris, one of the world’s leading trade fairs dedicated to the development of industry, and to present the potential of the Serbian market. The Global Industrie fair is geared towards the industry of the future and international cooperation, and brings together start-ups, large groups, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers and much more. During this year’s fair, and for the first time, CCIFS was able to contribute to the development of such an event and share its views and experience with many colleagues from the international community CCIF (Romania, Poland, Czechia, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia and the UK).

COCKTAIL PARTY

CSR CLUB EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN “AFTER UNI I’LL BE …”

In cooperation with the Centre for Career Development of the University of Belgrade, the CCIFS launched a series of online workshops in 2021 for students, which rovided them with an opportunity to hear first-hand information from employees of various branches of CCIFS member companies. The workshops organised during the first series dealt with professions in the fields of technology, finance, advertising, telecommunications, sales and project management, and were complemented by a series of three workshops during French Week on human resources, finance and tenders.

SUPPORT SERVICES FOR FRENCH COMPANIES

The French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce works continuously to provide support to French companies wanting to develop business in Serbia. It helps companies from France examine market potential, find clients and partners, open a branch and in general help their business on the Serbian market. CCIFS is ranked in the third-highest category in the network of French chambers of commerce abroad, because it provides a complete service to French companies interested in the Serbian market: from initial information about the market, to opening and assisting in running a company. The Chamber has been an operating partner of Business France, the state-owned French Export Promotion Agency, and a member of Team France Export for 10 years. The Chamber also provides support to companies in the countries of the region, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

CCIFS’s LeBooster business centre provides services from renting offices to all kinds of assistance in the operation of a company.

FRENCH WEEK

One of the most important CCIFS events, French Week aims to promote historical, cultural and business links between France and Serbia. Its timing is associated with a broadly popular custom in France – the arrival of the new wine, Beaujolais nouveau. This year’s 9th French Week was special because the events took place live, after a break last year due to the pandemic. The varied and colourful contents provided guests with the opportunity to participate in the traditional events of French Week; tasting good wine at the Beaujolais nouveau young wine reception; learning some of the secrets of French cuisine at the Bakery Workshop; sampling famous wine labels from the French regions at the Wine Workshop; as well as tasting famous French cheeses and other delicious delicacies.

FRENCH WEEK – BAKERY WORKSHOP

New business contacts between member companies and representatives of local institutions, international organisations, cities and municipalities of Serbia were established at the Innovating Environment business conference, which aimed to present the expertise of chamber members in the environmental sector through the latest projects of leading companies. Then, on the web platform www.francuskanedelja.rs, the 6th Online Employment Fair was held throughout the week, with visitors having the opportunity to visit the virtual stands of participating companies, apply for over 40 advertised jobs and chat with human resources personnel. The programme for young people was complemented by a series of webinars for students “After uni I’ll be…”, which gave students the opportunity to discuss various occupations with panelists and receive useful advice for their professional orientation.

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