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Serbia strengthens economic ties with Germany: Record trade and positive investment outlook for 2024

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Serbia ranks among Germany’s top 50 trading partners, achieving a record bilateral trade volume of nearly nine billion euros in 2023. This milestone was highlighted in the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce‘s recent economic research on Serbia’s investment climate and business conditions for 2024. Conducted in February and March among 440 member companies, the survey revealed that 86 percent of respondents view Serbia as an attractive investment destination.

Milan Grujić, President of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, emphasized the continuous high investor satisfaction, attributing it to Serbia’s stable and predictable business environment. German Ambassador to Serbia, Anke Konrad, underscored the economic interdependence between the two countries, noting that over 900 companies with German capital operate in Serbia.

In 2022, Germany’s trade with Serbia was twice the volume of any other foreign trade partner, with the exchange increasing by 13 percent over the past year. Looking ahead to 2024, 40 percent of surveyed companies plan to boost investments, a rise from last year, though 22 percent anticipate reducing their investments.

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Despite global challenges, optimism in Serbia’s economic outlook remains strong. Although the percentage of companies rating their operations as good has dropped from 52 percent in 2022 to 39 percent, those rating their operations as satisfactory increased to 55 percent. The share of companies planning to increase their workforce is 37 percent, down from last year, while 52 percent expect no changes, and 10 percent foresee a reduction.

Key challenges identified by companies include the fight against corruption and crime, availability and qualification of professional workforce, flexibility of labor legislation, and the professional (dual) education system. Conversely, businesses are satisfied with infrastructure development, communication structure, and employee productivity and readiness.

Regarding government measures to improve investment conditions, 75 percent of surveyed companies responded positively. However, only 12 percent rated the government’s support for energy transition positively, with 58 percent neutral and 19 percent dissatisfied.

The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce is part of a global network comprising 150 offices in 93 countries, fostering economic ties and facilitating business operations worldwide.

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