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Serbia, Where do American businessmen come from right now - Serbia Business

Serbia, Where do American businessmen come from right now

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The visit of investors is always useful, according to economists, even though they come at an interesting political moment. – Since 2001, they have invested more than four billion dollars and employ more than 30,000 workers

A delegation of 16 of the largest American companies visited Serbia these days and according to the statements of the chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy in Belgrade, Joe Ginkel, they are interested in investing and cooperating with Serbian companies. 

It was heard that the USA and Serbia share strategic priorities, that the American companies already operating in Serbia are satisfied with the investments, and that the fact that since 2001 they have invested more than four billion dollars and employ more than 30,000 workers speaks volumes about this.

Where did the visit of American businessmen come from at this very moment when the pressures surrounding the resolution of the Kosovo issue and the introduction of sanctions against Russia due to the war in Ukraine have intensified? And is that a message to turn more to the West, to benefit more from them and introduce measures to Russia? 

The President of the country, Aleksandar Vučić, has repeatedly repeated that due to not agreeing to the Franco-German plan for Kosovo, Serbia may be economically endangered. From Abu Dhabi, he said that the key thing for Serbia is the economy and economic growth.

Mihailo Gajić, program director of the Libeka research unit (Libertarian Club) says that the visit is useful, although it does not mean that it will result in any tangible benefit in terms of new investment. 

Large companies are exploring the terrain for their business and believe that it is good that Serbia is on their radar. The services of those countries are always included in this, such as the economic part of the embassies, which try to bring the interested parties together.

“This political moment is interesting. There are indications that Serbia is slowly turning towards the West, bearing in mind that some people who were strongly anti-Western in the media now speak highly of the West, and less highly of Russia than was the case before,” says Gajić.

Ljubodrag Savić, a professor at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade, believes that American businessmen would come even without that political background.

“They have so many ways to influence Serbia, that they don’t need a director of a company for that purpose.” Vučić’s favorite thesis is that we will be economically threatened, but we lived without those companies.

I do not dispute that they are important for economic development. Foreign companies do not come to us because their countries support them.

They come solely from economic interests. They are not interested in that political context at all. Economic interest manifests itself in cheap labor, subsidies, various types of aid… Foreign companies will not leave Serbia if the political situation between us and other countries is worse. No one told them we want to encourage Vučić or punish Vučić.

That’s not how the capitalist world works. I do not rule out the possibility that one of those companies has other relations with the American government – explains Savić.

He adds that they come to us for earnings, because today Serbia is a stable country with a predictable economic environment in which the state is doing its best to create even better conditions for foreign companies. 

Serbia have Naled, which creates documents that are adopted by the government, there are mixed chambers of Germany, the USA. In addition, when experts from such companies come, communication becomes easier.

Ivan Nikolić, director for scientific research development at the Economic Institute, states that the visit is the realization of our economic policy towards foreign countries and diplomatic action to get the most out of maintaining good relations with both the East and the West.

“Now the question is whether this is the maximum of our policy or whether it is possible to achieve more.” There is no doubt that, despite all these geopolitical tensions, there is still considerable interest from both America and Europe, as well as Russia, for investment and presence in Serbia. 

We want to achieve that and we succeed. Perhaps the question is whether in the second option we would reach a more pronounced interest of one of the parties, since in that case we would have to either give up or tighten our relations with others.

This is proof of the success of our approach. I believe that this encourages and encourages a stronger step forward in the realization of specific goals from the western side. I assume that this way also influences us to give in. This is their legitimate interest, and ours is different”, says Nikolić.

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