Serbia is the most desirable for investments of automobile companies

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Serbia is the region’s most desirable investment destination for foreign car companies, despite the crisis in the car sector, according to a report by See News, a provider of business news and market information, published at the online conference on the development of the automotive industry “SEE Automotive-Connect & Supply,” the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) announced today.
The conference, at which 14 representatives of this industry spoke about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on business, was organized by the Automobile Cluster of Serbia, with the support of the Private Sector Development in Serbia (PSD) project implemented by GIZ within the German-Serbian development cooperation.
During the coronavirus pandemic, most companies from the automotive industry stopped production and turned to donations and production of the necessary materials to fight the virus, it was stated at the conference.
SeeNews estimates show that the crisis in the automotive sector alone could affect two percent of the total labor force in the national economies of Southeast Europe, and losses across the region could be more than eight billion euros.
“However, there is optimism, especially when it comes to Serbia. Serbia is obviously the most desirable destination in the region for investments by foreign car companies. Only from March 2019 to March 2020, the investment in the automotive sector of Serbia amounts to 790 million euros and there is no data that there will be changes in these investment plans due to the crisis,” said the representative of See News, Lilia Goranova.
Analyzes show that the automotive sector will be among the losers in the midst of the pandemic and the economic crisis it has caused, and the recovery depends on the measures to be taken by national governments.
The economic future and development of Serbia also depend on the global situation in the automotive industry.
“This industry is currently facing many challenges, such as the closure of production facilities and the disruption of the global supply chain, which threatens the economic development of Serbia, which has an annual turnover of three billion euros in the automotive industry. Part of our support is dedicated to the Automotive Cluster in Serbia, which organizes conferences and other events for the needs of this industry, and one of the main goals of AC Serbia is the digitalization of the automotive industry, which this crisis has made even more important, “said the head of sector – Sustainable Economic Development and Employment in GIZ, Aleksandar Bec.
Continuous support for the development of the automotive industry in Serbia, as reminded in the announcement, is provided by the German-Serbian development cooperation, which is implemented by GIZ through various projects, and this year marks the 20th anniversary of this cooperation.
“When the coronavirus pandemic started, we discussed with our partners from Serbia which approach to take in the current situation, in order to define measures that will mitigate the effects of the crisis. Together with the Center for Digital Transformation within the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, we have developed a program to support business in an emergency situation for MSMEs,” said Bec.
He specified that the program offers two-day free support of digital transformation consultants for companies from all industries, for which 120 companies applied in the first few days.
Globally, one of the impacts of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic will be the lack of investment in innovation within the automotive industry, it was said at the conference.
“The crisis will delay the development of autonomous cars until 2035, and it may never happen,” said Jay Nagle, a research and development specialist from the UK Department of International Trade.
However, he added that the good news is that work on electric car development projects for 2021/2022 will continue, as the need for electric cars will not decrease.
As it was pointed out, the conference is one of the most important professional and business gatherings in this part of Europe when it comes to the automotive industry, and on the second day, company representatives participated in more than 100 B2B meetings in order to establish business contacts, Nova reports.