How to return Serbian companies to the African market

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The fair complex in Laos, a hotel with a congress center in Harare, dams, roads, railways, hospitals – are traces of the dominance of Yugoslav companies on the African continent during the second half of the 20th century. Today, Africa has the largest natural increase and the youngest population – and among the 10 countries with the fastest growth in the world, seven are from that continent. In the meantime, the former Yugoslav giants have been replaced by new ones from some other countries.
African countries are leaving behind civil wars and are rapidly changing in the image of European and world capitals. The requirements of the local market are also changing – in recent years, more and more people are buying easels and other artistic material produced in Serbia, provided that wood from sustainable forests is used in production.
“I think we are interesting for Ghana, in general number one for the import of goods as a European supplier because these are extremely high quality products produced in our country. Maybe compared to China, which has been a huge exporter so far, maybe we are a little closer and the quality is for the class above,” said Darja Cirkovic from the company Ars.
Neoplanta started exporting pate to Angola and Kenya.
“Here we recognized the potential to do serious business. Together with the local marketing agency, we realized that the most important segments are the fish segment, the chicken segment, as well as local flavors that are specific to Africa, for example with piri-piri spice,” said the director of “Neoplanta”, Aco Tomasevic.
Last year, mostly to the Maghreb countries, we exported goods for about 400 million euros, mostly tobacco and animal feed. At that time, the exports of China were 100 billion dollars, Germany, France and India 20 billion dollars each, and Greece and Romania were better than us.
“Businessmen should not forget that the agreement on free trade at the level of the entire African continent, which was signed by 55 African countries in 2019, and which began implementation on January 1 this year, where you have 55 countries, came into force. There is a free flow of goods. So, there are no customs duties on more than 90 percent of the products, but in order to inherit the elements of that agreement, you have to do business in Africa,” said Danijela Strizak of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.
There is a great opportunity next month – statesmen from Africa, Latin America and Asia gather in Belgrade to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement, RTS reports.