The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia) represents the interests of its member companies, provides informational support for their business and advocates for the development and improvement of German-Serbian trade and cooperation in all aspects of the economy. One of the tasks of AHK Serbia is to provide advisory support to German companies entering the Serbian market, as well as to Serbian businesspeople entering the German market
MEMBERS OF THE GERMAN-SERBIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HAVE DONATED MORE THAN A MILLION EUROS FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST THE PANDEMIC
With the aim of supporting institutions and health workers in Serbia in the struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic, AHK Serbia member companies have donated aid with a total value 1,087,000 euros in recent weeks. This relates to aid in the form of specific medical equipment and financial resources for the procurement of such equipment, donated goods and food/hygiene packages, but also the provision of services to companies for humanitarian purposes (such as transportation and distribution).
President of AHK Serbia and General Manager of Hemofarm, Dr Ronald Seeliger, emphasised that Germany has been, and remains, a reliable partner to Serbia, and that the engagement of German investors will continue contributing to the economic sustainability of Serbia even in difficult times.
“German investors have been present in Serbia for a full two decades, and close to four hundred German companies currently operate here, with more than 60,000 employees. This is a clear indicator that Germany is one of Serbia’s most important and most reliable economic partners, and it will also continue to be so in the future. Even in these challenging times when the entire world and the global economy have already been impacted by the effects of the pandemic, it is very important that we remain human and that each of us does as much as we can to help institutions and health workers in the struggle against this coronavirus. Donations from companies are our way to show that Germany is not only an important economic partner of Serbia, but above all a friend,” stressed the AHK Serbia president.
The AHK Serbia member companies that have donated aid to date include: Generali Osiguranje Srbija, Hemofarm AD, Henkel Srbija, Inmold, Klett publishing doo, Lidl Srbija, Messer Tehnogas, Mirax Agrar, Nelt Group, Peric Trans Company, Stim-Import Loznica, Transfera d.o.o., ZG Lighting SRB d.o.o. (Zumtobel Group) and many others.
GERMAN INITIATIVE TO IDENTIFY SUPPLIERS IN THE WESTERN BALKANS 2020
AHK Serbia, the representative offices of the German economy in the Western Balkans (AHK), as well as the German Association for Materials Management, Import and Logistics (BME eV), jointly organised the regional B2B project “German initiative to find suppliers in Western Balkan countries”, which is being implemented for the sixth consecutive year. This year’s regional B2B project was held online from 8th to 22nd September.
More than 30 German companies participated in the project, as well as 154 companies from the Western Balkan region. From Serbia alone, 52 supplier companies presented their businesses to potential German partners, with a total of 340 B2B meetings held.
The aim of the project is for German companies to find producers from the economic domains they’re seeking in Serbia and elsewhere in the Western Balkans. The concept of the project is based on the “B2B – matchmaking” mechanism. Interested German companies come primarily from the metal processing sector, the automotive industry supply sector and the plastic materials processing and production sector. Other industries are also represented in individual cases, such as construction and the energy sector. Events are realised under the patronage of the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany, within the scope of the Programme for the Development of Foreign Markets for Small and Mediumsized Enterprises of the Federal Republic of Germany.
ONLINE PORTAL FOR SUPPLIERS FROM SERBIA
Following numerous supplier initiatives and gatherings organised in Germany, and in response to great interest in cooperating with SMEs and for imports from Serbia, AHK Serbia launched an online portal for suppliers from Serbia https://www.lieferanten-serbien.com/.
At a time when doing business digitally is a “new reality” for companies globally, domestic business leaders and entrepreneurs have gained an excellent opportunity to present their companies, products and services on this platform, via which German companies seek suppliers of goods and services in specific areas and receive insight into the offer of domestic suppliers. A great advantage of this is that AHK Serbia has initiated exclusive cooperation with the German Association for Materials Management, Import and Logistics (BME e.V.), so that companies from Serbia that are participants in the AHK Serbia portal are also promoted on the BME portal.
BME represents a professional association for buyers, supply chain managers and logisticians in Germany and Central Europe, with a total of over 9,750 individual and corporate members. AHK Serbia invites all interested companies to secure their place on the AHK portal and take advantage of all the benefits of this digital platform – to present their companies, products and services to potential German customers. Contact us for more information and ways to promote.
CONFERENCE: MODERNIZATION IN THE SECTORS OF TRANSPORT, LOGISTICS AND TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE IN SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
In February 2020, AHK Serbia, under the patronage of the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany and in partnership with German company em&s GmbH, organised a conference on the topic “Modernisation in the sectors of transport, logistics and transport infrastructure in Serbia and Montenegro”.
The conference saw a delegation comprising seven German companies present their production programmes, innovations and services in these areas, after which all conference participants had an opportunity to hold B2B meetings with German companies.
ONLINE BIOMASS AND BIOGAS CONFERENCE
AHK Serbia, under the patronage of the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany and in partnership with German company energiewächter GmbH, organised an online conference in September 2020 on the topic “biomass and biogas in Serbia”, with the aim of connecting successful German companies with domestic companies from Serbia in order to share technology and experiences.
CONFERENCE “WESTERN BALKANS AND THE GERMAN ECONOMY: INVESTMENTS – SUPPLY INITIATIVES – MOBILITY”
In November 2019, under the patronage of the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany, and in cooperation with the Committee of the German Economy for Eastern Europe – Eastern European Association of German Economy (OA) – and the German Association for Southeast Europe, AHK Serbia organised a conference on German initiatives, economic development, new conditions and the effects of the German Law on the Immigration of Skilled Workers from Non-EU Countries, as well as demographic challenges in Serbia.
The conference was opened by AHK Serbia President Dr Ronald Seeliger, Serbian Minister without Portfolio in charge of Demography and Population Policy, Dr Slavica Đukić Dejanović, and the Head of the Section for Southeast Europe, EU Enlargement and Turkey at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Helge Tolksdorf.
VISIT OF PETER ALTMEIER, MINISTER FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS AND ENERGY OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY, WITH A BUSINESS DELEGATION
Under the auspices of the visit to Serbia of the Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Peter Altmeier, at the end of October 2019, AHK Serbia hosted German business leaders at the Business Briefing and Round Table at the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade.
The Business Briefing gathered businesspeople from Germany, who came as part of the delegation of Minister Altmeier, and German MPs. Businesspeople from Germany received relevant information on the political situation in the country from Dorothea Gieselmann, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany, while the situation in the economic sector was presented by the AHK Serbia President Seeliger.
Following the briefing, Minister Altmeier spoke at a meeting attended by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Serbian Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Marko Čadež, Deputy Director General of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce (DIHK) Dr Volker Trajer, AHK Serbia President Seeliger and AHK Serbia Director Martin Knapp, as well as German and Serbian business leaders representing members of AHK Serbia.
Minister Altmeier said that Germany and Serbia want to intensify their relations and that they can primarily achieve that through economic cooperation. Also speaking on this occasion, AHK President Seeliger assessed the current economic cooperation between Serbia and Germany as good, noting that Germany invests a lot in Serbia and that German companies employ more than 60,000 people in the country.
A conference of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce entitled “Dual Education – Experiences of German Companies in Serbia” launched the Week of Dual Education at the end of October 2019, under the patronage of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia (CCIS).
The conference was opened by AHK Serbia director Knapp, Assistant Minister for Dual and Entrepreneurial Education and Training Gabriela Grujić, and Director of the CCIS Centre for Dual Education Mirjana Kovačević. Representatives of German companies Siemens Srbija, Robert Bosch, ContitechFluid Serbia and Draexlmaier Serbia shared their experiences in the implementation of the dual education system with media representatives and the gathered members of AHK Serbia.
AHK ONLINE PORTAL FOR STUDENT WORK PLACEMENTS
The portal for student work placements at AHK Serbia member companies, www.ahk-praksa.com, was created on the initiative of AHK Serbia and the University of Belgrade, “Model of German business to work experience”, with the aim of advancing students professionally and ensuring their better connection with the labour market.
This online platform enables members of AHK Serbia, but also other companies with German capital that are not members, to regularly publish open positions for work placements within their companies.
SENIOR EXPERT SERVICE
The main activity of the Senior Expert Service (SES) programme is based on the mediation of professional consultants in various economic and non-economic activities around the world. This German non-profit organisation, which is subsidised by the German Ministry for International Cooperation, deals with the mediation and organisation of engagements of professional consultants from Germany in SMEs.
SES consultants are active German retirees, experts with vast experience who undertake their engagements with great enthusiasm and a strong work ethic. They provide consulting services without financial compensation, with the aim of helping and promoting the organisation of the operations of SMEs, public institutions, associations and educational institutions, both in Serbia and around the world.
The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce has been representing the SES programme in Serbia since 2005. Until the end of 2018, approximately 250 SES engagements had been realised in Serbian companies and non-business entities.
FAIRS IN GERMANY
German business fairs, as the most significant promotional mechanisms and sales institutions in Europe and beyond, have always occupied a significant place in economic cooperation between Serbia and Germany.
AHK Serbia represents:
• The International Fair in Munich
• The International Fair in Cologne
• The Nuremberg Toy Fair
• The Intec and “Z” fairs in Leipzig
AHK MEMBERS DINNER
The AHK Serbia business dinner for representatives of member companies is among the most popular events among members of this association. The event is opened with an honorary speaker from the domestic economic and political scene, with a short presentation on a current topic, followed by a discussion and a cocktail reception in a relaxed atmosphere.
In January 2020, the guest of honour at the AHK Members Dinner was Zsuzsanna Hargitai, regional director for the Western Balkans at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), who spoke about opportunities and obstacles to investing in Serbia from the EBRD’s perspective.
The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce organises working groups with a focus on three areas: human resources, communications and public relations, but also energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
At interesting interactive meetings of members that have an average of 35 participants, attendees present common topics, while expert lectures are given in selected fields, with exchanges of experience among colleagues from various companies.
ESTABLISHING OF THE NEW AHK WORKING GROUP FOR CSR/SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Reputation is the most important aspect in the business of modern companies, which is expected to not only yield a positive financial performance, but also to create a positive contribution to social development. Everything is important for a good corporate reputation today, from the quality of employees, via product quality and financial performance, to corporate culture. Recognising the importance of corporate social responsibility and corporate philanthropy, AHK Serbia this year established its Working Group for CSR/Sustainable Development, which has to date organised three online meetings, with the support of the Serbian Philanthropic Forum.
The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce each year conveys a German tradition dating back almost 200 years with the unique AHK Oktoberfest. The tenth Oktoberfest in Belgrade, and the fourth organised by AHK Serbia, was held over the course of two days on 10th and 11th October 2019. Around 1,300 guests from member companies, partners and guests from business life enjoyed Erdinger beer, a variety of specialities of Bavarian cuisine and the music of Dejan Petrović and his Big Band, as well as competitions in holding multiple beer mugs and drinking beer.
The fifth Serbian Visions multicongress was held on Friday 22nd November and Saturday 23rd November 2019 at Belgrade’s Radisson Collection Old Mill Hotel. The opening ceremony of the fifth Serbian Visions multicongress saw plaques awarded for the third time: the plaque for the Best Vision was awarded to the Association ‘Žene na prekretnici’ [Women at a Turning Point], which is the only association dedicated to the economic empowering of unemployed women aged over 45, who represent the most vulnerable group on the labour market in the Republic of Serbia.
The plaque for the best social engagement was awarded to the Association of Internal Auditors of Serbia, which works to promote sound corporate governance and ethical principles, as well as to raise awareness of the value of internal audits.
• 40 two-hour events over the course of two days
• 40 participants and event co-organisers: NGOs, expert associations, institutes, institutions, companies, associations, universities…
• 40 different ways of presenting: discussions, forums, presentations,workshops, seminars, film screenings and many others
• 40 interesting topics covering the fields of human rights, economics, education,culture, health, environmental protection, EU integration and others
• 40 plus reasons to come as a citizen and visit the only multicongress in Serbia!