Investors are not leaving Serbia

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Pressures on Serbia due to the principled position on the crisis in Ukraine and the non-imposition of sanctions on Russia related to the economy, led to speculations and unofficial information that German investors, who employ about 77,000 workers, could raise the anchor. The president of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Milan Grujić, points out for RTS that this is not true and that the companies operating in Serbia do not plan to leave.

More than two decades have passed since the first German investment in Serbia. Germany is still one of Serbia’s leading investors and foreign trade partners. Currently, there are over 900 companies where the share of German capital is over 50%, and that includes registered entrepreneurs, RTS writes.

Citing unnamed sources in the German Ministry of Economy, some media reported that, as it was formulated, “Serbia’s unclear attitude towards the crisis in Ukraine” could lead to the withdrawal of German investments. That would mean the loss of 40,000 jobs, and that, as it was estimated, would be just the beginning, because other countries would follow the German example.

– According to our information and generally according to our position, that is not true and companies operating in Serbia do not plan to do that – said Milan Grujić, President of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

He also says that they conducted a survey, where they clearly asked that question among the members. In addition to the general view that there is an impact on business, the assessment, he emphasizes, is that this is not current at all at the moment, nor is there anything to think about.

As proof that it is not true that some companies froze the planned arrival in Serbia, Grujić points out the fact that companies such as MTU, Hansgrohe, Bizerba and Continental continue to build their facilities.

He confirmed that the Chamber still receives several inquiries a week from companies, both large and small, which are interested in learning about the circumstances in Serbia and announcing their arrival in order to get acquainted with the business conditions.

Grujic especially pointed out that German companies in Serbia employ over 77,000 workers.

– Leoni from Prokuplje has 13,000 employees, and according to our information, they plan to employ more workers. I will also mention the largest German investment, the company Stada, and large greenfield investments, which include CTF, the company Brose – said Grujić.

He pointed out that the strategy of all large companies that came to Serbia is to strengthen their regional supply chain regionally and thus provide their own perspective. He adds that all activities to bring small and medium-sized companies to Serbia and to actively participate in business are in that direction.

He added that every company that faces global problems is adjusting its plans and development plan and that a more intensive risk assessment is being done than before.

– In the past 20 years, companies from Germany have invested around EUR 3.6 billion in Serbia, and it can be seen that even before the pandemic, the intensity and attractiveness of Serbia was recognized – Grujić specified.

He explains that state incentives are the practice of all countries in the region, even the most developed ones, as well as Germany itself.

– What sets us apart from others is the regulation and an extremely transparent process, the support of the state, which is directly involved at all levels in supporting foreign investors. Also, what sets us apart is a skilled workforce. In some countries, resources have been used, and in our country that potential still exists – Grujić assessed, RTV Novi Pazar reports.