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German Companies Seek Suppliers from the Western Balkans

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In Munich, 99 suppliers from the Western Balkans, including 22 from Serbia, engaged in talks with representatives from 20 German companies. 

The meetings are part of the “German Initiative for Finding Suppliers in the Western Balkans,” aimed at strengthening collaboration and increasing the presence of regional suppliers in the supply chains of German companies, as reported by the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK).

Alexander Markus

The decade-long project seeks to connect German companies with suppliers from specific industrial sectors in Serbia and the broader Western Balkans. The interested German firms are primarily from the metalworking, automotive, and plastics industries, with a few from the electrical and electronics sectors.

Alexander Markus, a board member of AHK, emphasized the initiative’s contribution to establishing supply structures in Serbia and the region. He noted a trend towards diversifying supplies among German companies and highlighted the geographical proximity and flexibility of orders, including small batches and ad-hoc orders, as key factors in the increased interest in Balkan suppliers.

Olaf Holzgrefe

Markus also remarked on the robust growth of German-Serbian trade, citing a 25% increase from 2020 to 2021 and a 13% rise in exports and imports from 2022 to 2023. He stressed the reliability of Serbian partners, noting the absence of serious complaints about collaborations.

However, Markus mentioned logistical challenges related to border crossings and discussed the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which will significantly impact cooperation. The EU requires companies to adapt to new rules and norms by December 31, 2025, during which importers from the EU will need to calculate and report their suppliers’ carbon emission levels quarterly.

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Olaf Holzgrefe from the German Association for Supply Chain Management (BME) highlighted that the project, part of the Berlin Process initiated in 2014, has organized around 5,000 B2B meetings with top companies from the Western Balkans over the past decade.

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