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Italy-Serbia Business & Science Forum In Belgrade

Bilateral Cooperation On The Rise Once Again

The business communities of Serbia and Italy enjoy the full support of the highest institutions and officials who have prioritised the economy at the top of their agenda, as was confirmed at the Italy-Serbia Business & Science Forum that was held in Belgrade at the end of March and included the presenting of plans for advancing cooperation between the two countries

There are around 1,200 registered companies in Serbia with majority Italian capital, Italian financial institutions and enterprises that collectively employ approximately 50,000 people, while the goal is to deepen this bilateral cooperation, primarily in the fields of food production, green transition, e-mobility and infrastructure development.

The Italy-Serbia Business & Science Forum, held in Belgrade on 21st and 22nd March 2023, was jointly organised by all members of Sistema Italia – comprising the Embassy of Italy, the Italian Trade Agency, Confindustria Serbia and the Italian-Serbian Chamber of Commerce – in cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Speaking at the forum, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić emphasised the importance of relations between the two countries, particularly in support of the further development of bilateral economic relations, while other speakers at the forum included Serbian Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Marko Čadež, Ambassador Lorenzo Angeloni, Italian Trade Agency President Matteo Zoppas and many other distinguished guests.


It was noted at the forum, which was organised under the scope of the visit of an Italian state-economic delegation led by Foreign Minister Tajani, that the business communities of Serbia and Italy have the full support of the highest institutions and officials who have placed the economy at the top of their agenda.

In his opening address, President Vučić said that Italy is a sincere friend of Serbia and that it has never been among the countries that have exerted undue pressure on our country, but rather has opened the door to cooperation.

It is expected that the production of Stellantis’s electric car in Kragujevac will significantly improve the trade exchange between Serbia and Italy

“For us, Italy is a sincere friend that we’ve always been able to count on when it comes to our path to Europe and our cooperation on all important, and not always easy, issues,” noted Vučić, before stressing that Italian entrepreneurs are more than welcome in our country.

“I invite all Italian companies to come to Serbia,” he said, adding that Serbia offers a secure environment for investment.

The Serbian president emphasised Italy’s ranking as the second largest foreign investor in Serbia, noting that the value of the total goods exchange between the two countries reached 4.6 billion euros last year, which was 10.5 per cent higher than in 2021; that Serbia’s exports to Italy are worth two billion euros, while imports from Italy have a value of 2.6 billion, and that Italy represents Serbia’s third most important foreign trade partner.

There are almost 1,200 companies with majority Italian capital, Italian financial institutions and enterprises that are registered and active in Serbia, and that collectively employ approximately 50,000 people.


Foreign Minister Tajani noted that Italy wants to have a greater presence in Serbia and the Balkans, which he said are of strategic importance to Italy.

“We started with a large Balkan country that is an EU membership candidate. That is Italy’s political determination, to once again be present in Serbia and all parts of the Balkans. We want to continue cooperating in the future with the people with whom we cooperated in the past,” said Tajani.

He also expressed thanks to President Vučić and the Government of the Republic of Serbia in response to efforts aimed at establishing peace across the Balkans.

The value of the total goods exchange between the two countries reached 4.6 billion euros last year, which was 10.5 per cent higher than in 2021

“As a financially developed country, Italy has four million small and mediumsized enterprises. We are impressed by the number of businesspeople attending the business forum, which for me is a sign that the will exists to cooperate and work together. Both Serbian companies and goods are welcome in Italy, as we want to cooperate even more in our shared interest,” stressed Tajani. CCIS President Čadež explained that this was the largest bilateral forum held over the last 10 years, which included the participation of more than 250 Serbian and 150 Italian business leaders. He thanked Vučić and Tajani for prioritising the economy on their agenda. “We are here today to do business,” said Čadež, before reiterating that Serbia is an excellent investment destination that has to date attracted two thirds of total investments across the region.


This gathering aims to improve overall economic relations between Serbia and Italy, to expand cooperation in the field of high technologies on the basis of innovations and scientific achievements, and to present new opportunities for Italian companies to invest in Serbia. According to President Vučić, Stellantis’s electric car that is set to be produced in Kragujevac, with production scheduled to be launched next year, is expected to significantly improve the trade exchange between Serbia and Italy.

The forum included three panel debates dedicated to energy and green transition, agriculture and infrastructure, while an additional over 450 or so B2B meetings were organised and included the participation of more than 150 Italian companies and approximately 250 Serbian ones, which represents the best indication of the importance and potential of cooperation between Italy and Serbia. The B2B meetings held represented an added value of the Forum and will certainly contribute to the further development of economic cooperation and the creation of new business opportunities.

A networking cocktail reception was held at the Embassy of Italy in Belgrade on the eve of the forum, 20th March, and brought together representatives of companies from both countries, as well as other important guests. The reception provided an opportunity for forum participants to get acquainted and exchange ideas in an informal environment, which contributed to promoting additional networking and the forging of new business contacts.

The forum served to show that economic cooperation between Italy and Serbia is developing in a positive direction and that great potential for further growth and development exists, primarily in the field of innovation in food production, green transition, e-mobility and infrastructure development.