It is our hope that the success stories of Danish companies operating in Serbia will persuade more of their counterparts to invest in the country. However, this is a two-way street. We would still expect Serbian central and local governments to maintain their efforts to improve the business environment, digitise services and enforce the rule of law. The list of tasks might seem long, but the end-result is worth fighting for
Economic cooperation between Denmark and Serbia is growing year on year.
“We see steady growth in bilateral trade and investments. Our relationship is becoming more commercial, which is an encouraging sign and an indicator of positive economic development,” says Danish Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Anders Christian Hougård.
Trade relations between the two countries are growing at double-digit rates, though some of this growth can be attributed to Danish investments in Serbia. Almost every major Danish investment in Serbia is export-orientated. “Our exporters, such as Grundfos, regularly appear among top exporters from Serbia,” says the ambassador.
Danish companies have directly created more than 2,000 jobs in Serbia, many of them in SMEs like Ergomade in Niš or HealthCare Europe in Ruma. They additionally strive to have a positive impact on the environment in which they operate, so they are renowned for their high-impact CSR efforts.
How familiar is the Western Balkan region to Danish businesspeople and, in this regard, what do you expect from the investment forum?
Compared with other Nordic countries, Danish companies aren’t as numerous, but they are very versatile and spread all over the region, as is the case in Denmark itself. As I said, we see a growing interest from Danish companies, primarily due to the favourable geographic location and educated workforce. I believe this trend will continue as the economies recover and the countries conduct necessary reforms.
The Nordic Investment Forum is an excellent opportunity to meet and establish contact. I hope this opportunity will be seized upon by both Danish and regional companies and chambers of commerce
The Nordic Investment Forum is an excellent opportunity to meet and establish contact. I hope this opportunity will be seized upon by both Danish and regional companies and chambers of commerce.
Where do you see room for the involvement of Denmark – in a political and economic sense – in the process of improving interconnectivity within the Western Balkans?
I believe that the Nordic countries, Denmark included, can be a good example of interconnectivity for the Western Balkan countries.
Nordic cooperation has been institutionalised through the establishment of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Take the environment as an example: it knows no borders, with the levels of pollution in one country impacts all others. This is why we share the same goals when it comes to sustainable development and environmental protection.
The labour market is another example. The Nordics share a single labour market, which means it is very easy to move from one country to another for work. There are, of course, differences in salaries or other conditions, but our citizens are encouraged to be mobile and to gain experience beyond national borders. This fosters understanding and closer ties.
Finally, I would like to mention energy as an excellent example of Nordic interconnectivity. Our grids are connected for mutual support, and we all aim for a greater share of renewables in our energy production. Denmark is a forerunner in all these fields, and we would be happy to share our experiences as an individual country, but also as a member of the Nordic club.