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Trade Cooperation Between Serbia And Germany Growing

AHK Serbia is the largest network of German and Serbian businesspeople, a representative of the interests of member companies in industry and politics, but also a strong advisory support for Serbian businesspeople when entering the German market, providing services tailored to modern business and contributing to the development and improvement of dual education in Serbia

Research on the economic environment in Serbia conducted by the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia) among its members during March and April indicates a serious increase in the confidence of German companies in Serbia as an investment destination. Results turned out to be better than expected.

The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia) belongs to the system of German foreign trade and industry chambers, with 140 offices in 92 countries around the world. With almost 400 member companies, AHK Serbia is the largest bilateral chamber of commerce in Serbia and an ideal platform for contacts between German, Serbian and international companies. Ever since the establishment of the then Delegation of German Business in Serbia and the German-Serbian Business Association in 2001, the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce has been offering a number of interesting services. AHK Serbia was officially founded on 14th April 2016.

AHK Serbia is the largest network of German and Serbian businesspeople, a representative of the interests of member companies in industry and politics, but also a strong advisory support for Serbian businesspeople when entering the German market, providing services tailored to modern business and contributes to the development and improvement of dual education in Serbia.

One of the central tasks of AHK Serbia is to support German companies in founding, market research and company mergers. The Chamber offers various business services, starting with the search for contacts, support in the negotiation process, the creation of individual studies and market research and many others. The Chamber also offers translation services, information on legal and customs issues, PR services and the complete organisation of various events.

AHK Serbia is the largest bilateral chamber of commerce in Serbia and an ideal platform for contacts between German, Serbian and international companies

Serbia proved to be a good location for investment even before the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, which did not slow down investment from Germany. Despite the situation, many large investors from Germany, such as MTU, Boysen Abgassysteme, Fischer Automotive, SMP Automotive, ZF Serbia, Brose, Continental, Hansgrohe, Bizerba and others, opened new factories in Serbia and expanded their existing business and production facilities.

According to the latest survey of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, conducted in March and April of this year, the trust of German companies in Serbia as an investment destination is growing year on year. German and Serbian companies, members of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, positively evaluated the economic climate in Serbia in the survey and expressed positive expectations for their own businesses. Furthermore, despite the current crisis, 95 per cent of companies participating in the survey would invest in Serbia again. As the biggest threats and risks in the development of their companies in the next twelve months, businesspeople highlight the increase in the price of energy and raw materials, the economic and political framework, the increase in labour costs, a lack of demand and a workforce deficit.

Although the world is experiencing the third global crisis in the last 20 years that has affected the entire economy, the results of the research show that the assessment of the economic situation in Serbia for the year 2022 has not worsened. A further increase in trade cooperation between Serbia and Germany is expected, but perhaps not with a double-digit growth rate.

Despite the consequences of the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine, which are reflected in the global economy, half of the respondents (52%) rate their business as good, and only one per cent as not good enough. Business forecasts for the current year also contain optimism compared to three years ago – only 10 per cent of respondents fear a deterioration.

Concerning business development and additional employment in 2022, 49% of surveyed companies plan to increase the number of their staff, 46% plan no changes, while only five per cent of respondents assume that the number of their employees will decrease. This result unequivocally points to the fact that German companies will continue to create new jobs in Serbia. During 2022, 46 per cent of surveyed companies plan to increase their investment, while only 10 per cent announce a decrease in investment.

When evaluating the factors that impact business in Serbia, the fight against corruption and crime, legal certainty, transparency in public tenders, the efficiency of the tax system and tax administration, and the availability of labour were rated the worst. German-Serbian companies gave satisfactory ratings for criteria related to the labour market in Serbia: the qualification and motivation of employees, their productivity and academic education.

As many as 95% of German companies would invest in Serbia again, which is the best result so far

Thanks to the introduction of the dual education system, companies offer their staff the opportunity to improve their skills and qualifications. This is why a large number of companies invest in research and development and open training facilities near their factories, but also an excellent indicator that investors intend to stay.

Summarising the results of the survey, the director of the German- Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Alexander Markus, pointed out that Serbia is still a very desirable destination for investment, the trust of German companies is increasing, but the competition is strong, and Serbia must actively invest efforts to further improve general business conditions. We are pleased with the fact that a full 95% of companies would invest in Serbia again, which is the best result so far.

“A large number of German companies are currently looking for new suppliers, and the countries of the Western Balkans are certainly in the focus of potential German investors.” From this point of view, Serbia has a great opportunity, especially when you take into account the assessments of businessmen on the spot,” says the AHK Serbia director.

The head of the economic department Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Serbia, Denis Kaiser, said that the survey of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce on business conditions reconfirms the attractiveness of Serbia for German companies and reflects close economic relations between Serbia and Germany.

“The fact that 95% of the companies that participated in the survey would choose Serbia again as a place for investments speaks for itself. However, a large number of German companies believe that it is necessary to improve the fight against corruption, as well as transparency in public procurement. We are ready to support Serbia in this, helping pave its way to the European Union,” said Kaiser.

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