“IKEA expects to start building its first store in Serbia in the coming weeks, following seven years of delays due to bureaucratic procedures,” Vladislav Lalic, IKEA director for Southeast Europe said.
Serbia, an EU candidate country, has amended a number of laws over the past few years to improve its business climate and introduced subsidies for investors to boost growth and combat unemployment which is running at 17.3 per cent.
But IKEA, which wants to provide 300 jobs and invest €70 million euros in Serbia, had to negotiate a number of bureaucratic obstacles before receiving its construction permit last year.
“We have recently, together with the government, formed a workgroup which supported this (project) … even in that working group where there was one speaking partner, we had 17 relevant institutions which also took part,” Lalic told a business forum at the Kopaonik.
Lalic said the IKEA store in the Belgrade suburb of Bubanj Potok would be completed by early 2017.