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Serbia plans 25% annual export growth rate

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Core goals of the Serbian Strategy of Export Stimulation from 2008 to 2011 include 25% average export growth rate and changed export structure from dominant low-processed to high-processed products, writes Službeni glasnik.

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Changed export structure implies higher participation of capital and consumer goods within the overall export from 43.2% last year to 65% by 2011. The Strategy goals include optimal geographic diversification of export by entering new markets, increased number of companies with over EUR 10mn annual export rate from 66 in 2007 to 120 by 2011.

Implementation of strategy goals would reduce foreign trade deficit from 21.5% to 15.8% of GDP, and lower current account deficit from 17.5% to 12.1%. Necessary preconditions include HRK 3bn worth annual inflow of foreign direct investments, 6.3% annual GDP growth rate and higher participation of investments within GDP from 21.6% in 2007 to 25% in 2011.

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Furthermore, Strategy goals could be implemented only if the status of public companies is resolved by 2009, efficient service for exporters is created, foreign exchange rate is stabilized, export financial and insurance systems are improved, administrative obstacles are reduced, export based on innovations increased, infrastructure modernized and Serbian image in the world improved. Specific goals include retention of high export rate on the EU and CEFTA markets of between 20 and 25% annually.

As stated, there are four export markets crucial for Serbia – the EU, CEFTA, the Commonwealth of Independent Countries, the Near East and Middle East and Northern Africa.

On the other hand, 90% of export into CEFTA countries is realized to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia. Such high concentration of Serbian export to merely a few countries could have negative consequences on further increase of export, making penetration to new markets one of the basic aims of the foreign trade policy in the subsequent period, specifies the Strategy. 

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