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Russian citizens are the first in the number of registered companies in Serbia

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The Russian Federation is in first place in terms of the number of persons who, according to the data of the Agency for Business Registers, are the founders and owners of companies and entrepreneurs in Serbia. In the past year, they founded more than 5,000 business entities. 

However, this is not the only parameter that speaks of the size of the contribution of foreign companies to the business of a certain market.

The Agency for Business Registers (APR) presented precise figures to Sputnik.

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From March 1 last year to March 1 this year, 1,160 companies and 3,920 entrepreneurs, whose founders are from Russia, were registered. Out of a total of 434,550 companies and entrepreneurs, who are currently registered in APR as active, for 5,930 companies and entrepreneurs the founders or owners are from the Russian Federation”, APR public relations manager Gabrijela Petković Jovanović told Sputnik.

In terms of the number of registered companies, the Russians are the first, followed by the Chinese

The data clearly show that in terms of the number of people who are founders and owners of companies, the Russian Federation is in first place thanks to the Russians who came here in the past year.

Russia is followed by the People’s Republic of China , then Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Germany, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary and Montenegro, says Gabrijela Petković Jovanović.

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“For entrepreneurs, the Russian Federation is once again in first place and the People’s Republic of China is second.

Followed by Romania, Turkey, then foreign citizens who registered an entrepreneurial activity with residence in Serbia. Such persons are in fifth place, followed by citizens from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Cuba, the Republic of North Macedonia, Italy and Ukraine,” she stated.

The IT sector is leading the way

Computer programming and consulting activities in the field of information technology, as well as those related to business and business management, are the most represented activities registered with us by Russian citizens, but there are also cafes, beauty salons, shops…

Our interlocutor points out that companies and entrepreneurs, whose founders are foreigners, do not stand out in any way from other entities registered on the territory of the Republic of Serbia.

Commenting on these data, the deputy director of analytics at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Bojan Stanić, told Sputnik that there are various indicators that measure the strength of a certain country that has economic relations with Serbia, and that the number of companies in itself does not necessarily mean much.

The strength of the company is also determined by the number of employees

“It is significant how many people are employed by the investments that come from those countries .” For example, companies from Germany employ about 70,000 workers, and those from Russia about 7,000, including NIS,” he points out.

Stanić points out that the number of newly founded Russian companies established in the past year in Serbia is greater than the number of people employed in them. However, he points to another important point.

“The contribution of the people who came from Russia is significant because by establishing those IT companies, consulting and trade firms, they contribute to the potential of our economy. Especially in the IT sector because we have had expansive growth there for years and that sector is in high demand internationally,” explains the chief analyst of PKS.

This, he adds, creates space to further strengthen our IT sector with new companies and newly arrived experts.

Russian companies also attracted larger remittances

As he notes, the foreign company’s contribution to the domestic market is also told by its exports, of course the net ones.

He has no doubt that the arrival of Russians and the opening of Russian companies also influenced the growth of remittances from abroad. They are mostly sent by our people working abroad. Remittances even surpassed foreign direct investment last year. 

Surely, he believes, there was a lot of payment to these new IT experts from Russia, since their work is counted as freelance, and not as import-export, so it is recorded as a remittance.

“The third thing is that we now have, according to some estimates, between 150,000 and some say 200,000 people who came from Russia, as well as refugees from Ukraine. When you look at it, it is a relatively significant market of people who have their own habits, relatively higher purchasing power, which is significant for increasing internal consumption, especially in large cities such as Belgrade and Novi Sad, where they are concentrated,” Stanić points out.

What is certain is that the trend of opening new companies with Russian capital continued this year. In mid-November last year, Russian citizens were in second place in terms of the number of registered companies in Serbia, behind Chinese citizens. 

In the first month and a half of this year, Russians opened as many as 616 companies and now they have taken the lead in terms of the number of registered companies.

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