Sitemap

Economic Cooperation Between Italy And Serbia

Strong Presence, Stronger Prospects

Italy and Serbia have been historically linked through excellent bilateral political and economic relations. The two Countries celebrated two important anniversaries in 2019: 140 years of diplomatic relations between Rome and Belgrade; and 10 years of their strategic partnership

During the same year, Italy was again Serbia’s second largest trading partner, with a total trade exchange of 3.84 billion euros (2.07 billion in Italian exports to Serbia and 1.77 billion in Italian imports from Serbia). The main sectors of activity include the automotive, banking and insurance sectors, textiles, footwear, agriculture and, as of recently, energy. Several Italian companies are also involved in the construction sector in Serbia.

The database of the Development Agency of Serbia shows that, between 2007-2019, Italy was the leading investor in Serbia, both in terms of the number of projects implemented and absolute value. Italian companies have to date invested over three billion euros in Serbia and, according to a recent study that will be published soon by the Embassy of Italy and the Italian-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, employ a total of 39,000 workers. Considering indirect employment too, Italian companies provide work for more than 50,000 workers in Serbia, with around 1,600 registered companies having Italian shares and generating 5.4% of Serbia’s GDP.

Many Italian companies invested in Serbia long before other international partners, developing a special relationship with their local counterparts, built on mutual trust and thereby gaining excellent economic results in terms of production and employment. Serbia has a lot to offer Italian companies: firstly, the geographic proximity and the country’s connection to the entire Balkan region; secondly, the links with other international markets, both to the west and the east, finally the expertise and knowledge of local workers, which helped Italian companies develop strong local management structures. At the same time, the Italian entrepreneurial spirit is highly appreciated in Serbia, because of the capacity of Italian businesses to bring positive change in cultural and social terms all over the country.

At the institutional level, Italy is present in Serbia with a very strong network, within the framework of the so-called “Sistema Italia” (a group of institutions/associations working together to support Italy’s economic presence in the country). All together, the Embassy of Italy, the Italian Foreign Trade Agency, the Italian-Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Confindustria Serbia work tirelessly to promote Italian companies and their investments. “Sistema Italia” and Italian companies in Serbia are also focused on fostering collaboration with schools and universities, through dual education programmes. As of today, many Italian companies in different Serbian towns and cities are already training students.

Italian institutions here traditionally enjoy very good relations with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, thanks to fruitful cooperation in the co-organisation of business events, such as B2B gatherings, country presentations and sector-specific missions to and from Italy. Serbian and Italian companies can also count on the Office of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia in Trieste, which is constantly working to promote bilateral projects.

Between 2007-2019, Italy was the leading investor in Serbia, both in terms of the number of projects implemented and absolute value. Italian companies have to date invested over three billion euros in Serbia and, according to a recent study that will be published soon by the Embassy of Italy and the Italian-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, employ a total of 39,000 workers

Economic ties are enhanced by scientific cooperation between the two countries. Over the last 10 years, projects in the field of higher education, science, technology and innovation have been experiencing an extraordinary moment: more than 60 cooperation agreements between Italian and Serbian universities have been conducted during this period. Furthermore, with the 2012 creation of the Association of Italian and Serbian Scientists and Scholars (AIS3), which brings together more than 400 researchers and academics from the two countries, joint projects will continue to thrive in the future.

Our mutual economic relations are also based on strong connections among local authorities, thanks to the existence of bilateral agreements between regions and provinces. An example of that is the protocol signed in 2018 between Italy’s Lombardia Region and Serbia’s Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, while in 2020 the Veneto Region concluded an agreement with the Republic of Serbia in the fields of the creative industry, education and research & innovation.

Italy has continuously shown its willingness to support Serbia’s European integration process at the political and economic levels. The visits to Belgrade of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, in 2019, and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Luigi Di Maio, at the beginning of this year, confirmed the importance that Italy attaches to its relationship with Serbia. During both visits, the Italian and Serbian authorities recognised the importance of the two countries’ economic ties as being a fundamental component of our excellent bilateral relations. Italy also encourages Belgrade to adopt and implement reforms in the interest of Serbian citizens and foreign investors, in order to further improve the business environment and the stability of the economy.

Serbia has already successfully attracted Italian FDIs over past years and – with the completion of the privatisation process, the advancement of the fiscal sector and the judiciary, and the efficiency of public administration in general – Serbia will become an even more interesting market for other Italian companies.

Many Italian companies invested in the Serbian manufacturing sector in 2018 and 2019, opening new factories or expanding their production. The COVID-19 Pandemic has hit the Serbian economy in an asymmetric way during 2020, impacting some sectors more than others, but surveys show that Italian businesses have not lost their interest in the Serbian market, while many indicators prove that the propensity to increase their presence again is clear.

The Italian companies that already do business in Serbia are satisfied with the way the Government of Serbia responded to the epidemiological crisis, which represented a harsh test for all the economies of the planet and showed the stability and resilience of the Serbian economy. Forecasts for 2021 are positive, and Italy will certainly contribute in terms of investments, goods and technology.

There are great prospects for the further development of economic collaboration in many sectors – from the more traditional ones, like agriculture and infrastructures, to the emerging ones, like new technologies, renewable energies and the sustainable and smart economy. As for agribusinesses, the recent availability of IPARD funds for rural development will allow more Serbian companies to purchase Italian agricultural technologies.

Related Articles

Giorgia Meloni Claims Victory To Become Italy’s First Female Prime Minister

According to the results published after the polls closed, the right-wing coalition led by the Brothers of Italy party, headed by Giorgio Meloni, is...

Italy Is Suing Slovenia Over Balsamic Vinegar

The Italian government is launching legal proceedings against Slovenia in an attempt to defend the authenticity of its geographically protected balsamic vinegar. The issue started...

Italian Republic Day Celebrated At The Embassy

The Day of the Italian Republic was celebrated at the Italian Embassy. On that occasion, Ambassador Carlo Lo Cascio said: "We live in...

Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, during his visit to Serbia Belgrade, 21st June 2021

Luigi Di Maio

“The enlargement process in the Western Balkans is a strategic priority of the European agenda and we will continue to do everything in our...

H.E. Carlo Lo Cascio, Ambassador Of Italy To Serbia

Serbia’s EU Accession Efforts Should Be Better Acknowledged

Italy supports Serbia in fulfilling its EU accession requirements, acknowledging Belgrade’s efforts to implement crucial reforms and looking forward to the new National Assembly...

Antonio Ventresca, Director, Italian Trade Agency

Resilience Kept Us On Track

We’re here to help Italian and Serbian companies work together and to continue reiterating the business values that they’ve been creating over past decades....

Annino De Venezia, President Of The Italian-Serbian Chamber Of Commerce

Great Enthusiasm Among Managers And Business Owners

Despite the setbacks prompted by the pandemic, there is great energy among Italian and Serbian companies to make it up for the times when...

Annino De Venezia, General Manager, AUNDE Srb d.o.o.

The Right Mix For Success

AUNDE SRB d.o.o. is part of the worldwide AUNDE Italia Group, which is itself part of the AUNDE Group. The company’s manufacturing plant in...

More...

H.E. Carlo Lo Cascio, Ambassador Of Italy To Serbia

Serbia’s EU Accession Efforts Should Be Better Acknowledged

Italy supports Serbia in fulfilling its EU accession requirements, acknowledging Belgrade’s efforts to implement crucial reforms and looking forward to the new National Assembly...

Antonio Ventresca, Director, Italian Trade Agency

Resilience Kept Us On Track

We’re here to help Italian and Serbian companies work together and to continue reiterating the business values that they’ve been creating over past decades....

Annino De Venezia, President Of The Italian-Serbian Chamber Of Commerce

Great Enthusiasm Among Managers And Business Owners

Despite the setbacks prompted by the pandemic, there is great energy among Italian and Serbian companies to make it up for the times when...

Annino De Venezia, General Manager, AUNDE Srb d.o.o.

The Right Mix For Success

AUNDE SRB d.o.o. is part of the worldwide AUNDE Italia Group, which is itself part of the AUNDE Group. The company’s manufacturing plant in...

News

Japanese Investments In Serbia Reached 200 Million Euros

Japanese investments in Serbia reached 200 million euros, of which more than half occurred in the past two years. The...

Saudi Arabia: Strengthening Cooperation With Serbia

The business community is a key factor in building good relations between countries, emphasized the Minister of Foreign Affairs...

Ambassador Chen Bo: China Will Always Contribute To The World Peace And Development

Respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity is established as an important principle of the UN Charter and represents...

Reception On The Occasion Of The Day Of German Unity Held In Belgrade

On the occasion of the Day of German Unity, in the Botanical Garden in Belgrade, the Embassy of Germany...

Response to War in Ukraine Key Focus Area For IFC’s New Regional Director For Europe

IFC has appointed Rana Karadsheh as Regional Director for Europe. Based in Vienna, she will play a key role...

Saudi Arabia: Strengthening Cooperation With Serbia

The business community is a key factor in building good relations between countries, emphasized the Minister of Foreign Affairs...

Ambassador Chen Bo: China Will Always Contribute To The World Peace And Development

Respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity is established as an important principle of the UN Charter and represents...

Reception On The Occasion Of The Day Of German Unity Held In Belgrade

On the occasion of the Day of German Unity, in the Botanical Garden in Belgrade, the Embassy of Germany...

Response to War in Ukraine Key Focus Area For IFC’s New Regional Director For Europe

IFC has appointed Rana Karadsheh as Regional Director for Europe. Based in Vienna, she will play a key role...

IMF: War Caused Biggest Food Shortage Since 2008

The war in Ukraine has disrupted supplies of grain and fertilizer, producing the worst food shortages since the global...

Saudi Arabia: Strengthening Cooperation With Serbia

The business community is a key factor in building good relations between countries, emphasized the Minister of Foreign Affairs...

Ambassador Chen Bo: China Will Always Contribute To The World Peace And Development

Respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity is established as an important principle of the UN Charter and represents...

Reception On The Occasion Of The Day Of German Unity Held In Belgrade

On the occasion of the Day of German Unity, in the Botanical Garden in Belgrade, the Embassy of Germany...

Response to War in Ukraine Key Focus Area For IFC’s New Regional Director For Europe

IFC has appointed Rana Karadsheh as Regional Director for Europe. Based in Vienna, she will play a key role...

IMF: War Caused Biggest Food Shortage Since 2008

The war in Ukraine has disrupted supplies of grain and fertilizer, producing the worst food shortages since the global...