Due to its favorable geopolitical and economic position, Serbia is recognized as an interesting business destination for entrepreneurs and companies from all over the world. Accordingly, the increase in foreign investments is also evident.
The importance of geographical location
It is known that Serbia, as a country located in the center of the Balkan Peninsula, represents one of the most important crossroads in Europe. Because of this position, Serbia is not bypassed by important historical events, but on the other hand, it turned out that Serbia is an unavoidable trade route, which certainly affected its economic importance.
Even today, that importance does not diminish in terms of economic potential. The National Bank of Serbia states that in the first nine months of this year, the inflow of foreign direct investments reached 3.011 billion euros and remained stable despite the intensification of geopolitical tensions. In the same period last year, 3.002 billion euros of foreign direct investments were recorded. A positive trend of investment growth is expected until the end of 2022, when the total amount could reach, and perhaps surpass, the record of 3.863 billion euros from 2021. The largest inflow came from the EU, China and the Russian Federation.
Which foreign companies operate in Serbia?
A large number of large foreign companies operate in Serbia, such as: Coca-Cola, Continental, Delez, Nordeus, Microsoft Software, Philip Morris Services, LIDL, Robert Bosch and many others. This is supported by the fact that the data from the survey conducted in 2018 show that people are increasingly interested in working in private companies whose owners are foreigners.
It is noticeable that there is less and less interest in working in state-owned companies and private companies with local owners.
The Japanese company Nidec electric motor Serbia and the German company Continental , which deal in the automotive industry, recently started operating in Novi Sad. The fact is that more and more promising foreign companies are appearing in Serbia. According to data from October this year, only German companies in Serbia employ around 40,000 people, Austrian companies around 22,500.
An increase of 12.50% in the first 6 months
Regarding statistics and figures, until we look at the information for the entire year 2022, only in the first 6 months of this year, APR recorded a higher number of established business entities than for the same period last year.
From the Belgrade company Creative Finance, which deals with bookkeeping , they state that foreigners mostly inquire about taxes in our country and entrepreneurship, and the data show that in the first 6 months of this year, the establishment of 26,816 business entities was recorded in Serbia, for 4,520 more compared to last year for the same period. In percentage terms, it is 12.50% more. The first 5 reported predominant activities of established companies for this period are: non-specialized wholesale trade (590), computer programming (463), consulting activities related to business and other management (355), construction of residential and non-residential buildings (328), activities restaurants and mobile catering facilities (211).
When it comes to opening new companies in Serbia, it should be noted that foreign investors have no restrictions when establishing their companies, which represents another facilitating circumstance that attracts foreign investors.
Russians, the IT sector…
In particular, it should be pointed out that this year, due to the new tectonic changes in the geopolitical arena in the world, an exceptional increase in the number of open companies whose owners are citizens of the Russian Federation was observed in Serbia.
Russians often point out that they feel comfortable in Serbia and that they are well accepted, and opening a company is one of the ways to obtain what they call a VNŽ in Serbia, that is, a residence permit in Serbia.
In June, it was recorded that around 10,000 Russian citizens arrived in Serbia at that time, and according to unofficial data from November this year, that number has reached 50,000 to 100,000 people in recent months. Most of them work in the field of information technology, and while some have taken jobs in foreign or domestic companies, many have continued to do their work online.
From January 1 to November 2022, close to 800 companies and over 2,100 entrepreneurial shops whose owners are Russian citizens were registered. That is even 18 times more compared to the previous year. It is said that 10-12 companies whose owners are Russians spring up every day. According to activities, computer programming, wholesale trade and consulting services and the activity of advertising agencies lead the way, and they found their residences mostly in cities such as Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš.
The Russian company Luxsoft recently sent 1,000 engineers from Russia to Belgrade, and the plan is to relocate another 1,000 engineers, while the Russian giant Yandex plans to open a development center in our country.
In favor of Russian citizens is the decree by which the Government of Serbia has almost introduced incentives, canceling contributions and 70% of income tax for newcomers, who are employed by the employer in jobs for which it is difficult to find experts on the domestic market. Employers are entitled to relief if the employee’s salary is more than 300,000 dinars and the employment relationship was concluded on or after 12/31/2023. years.
Everything indicates that Serbia has become a solution for a large number of Russians, both for private and business reasons. Language is not a problem for them, especially young people who also speak English, while somewhat older people use Russian, which our people understand to some extent. The end of the year will bring even more precise figures, so we will have a more detailed insight into how many Russian companies and entrepreneurs knocked on the doors of bookkeeping and accounting firms and requested accounting services, i.e. accounting services, Economy writes.