Since the beginning of the year around two billion euros of foreign direct investments have been invested

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Since the beginning of the year, ending in July of this year, around two billion euros of foreign direct investments have been invested in Serbia, which is 3.5 percent lower compared to the same period in 2021, which was a record in terms of inflows of foreign direct investments, they show. data from the National Bank of Serbia. The central bank points out that the inflow of foreign direct investments (FDI) remained stable despite the worsening of geopolitical tensions, and that according to preliminary information there was no postponement of investments in previously announced projects.

– The structure of foreign direct investments remained both geographically and project diversified, and according to official data for the first quarter of 2022, the largest inflows of FDI to Serbia came from China (234.4 million euros), Switzerland (115.5 million euros) , Great Britain (€56.4 million) and Germany (€56.4 million), whereby around 60 percent of total FDI was directed to tradable sectors. When we talk about expectations for the whole year, the NBS expects that the positive trends regarding the inflow of foreign direct investments will continue and that during 2022 an amount will be invested close to that of the record 2021, when it amounted to 3.863 billion euros – say the NBS.

According to the assessment of the central bank, gross fixed investments (which also include domestic private investments) this year, despite all the challenges from the international environment, will record a faster real growth in relation to the total GDP, which means that their participation in the real GDP will most likely continue to increase. is approaching the value of 25 percent, from about 16.5 percent, which was in 2013 and 2014, that is, before the investment cycle that started in 2015.

Ivan Nikolić, senior associate of the Economic Institute, says that foreign direct investments are similar to the same period last year, which is an incredible result.

– We will see how it will go further, but considering the circumstances, the war in Ukraine, the crisis and the great uncertainty that prevailed among investors. Of course, in addition to the fact that these are either new greenfield investments or reinvestment of existing profits, so the expansion and further investment of those who are here, that is really commendable. We did not have any new sale or privatization, so that we would have an inflow on that basis, but only on the basis of the business expansion of those who are here and further investment. That is very good and we can be completely satisfied with that – says Nikolić.

That investors are not giving up on investments in Serbia was confirmed by the Ministry of Economy, which announced that nine new contracts for investments worth 320 million euros will be signed by mid-August, which will provide 2,500 new jobs.

The German “CF” is on the list, which is investing in Serbia for the fourth time, and by the end of 2027, 589 new jobs will be created in Pancevo and 238 million euros will be invested. With the second investment in Serbia, “Swislayon Takovo” will invest 1.6 million euros in Vršac by the end of 2022 in completing the automation of existing capacities. “Shenći automotiv parts” in Kragujevac will invest 7.9 million euros and employ 127 new workers by the end of 2026, “Pons” will invest in the automation of the frozen pastry production process in Čačak, “Ekomex” will build a production facility for the production of roasted coffee in Old Pazova…

Ljubodrag Savić, professor at the Faculty of Economics, does not expect a drop in foreign direct investment this year. It is likely that in the second part of the year there will be a twenty percent decrease, but at the annual level, we should expect 3.2 to 3.5 billion euros of foreign investments, which, according to his opinion, is satisfactory.

– The question is what will happen next year. There will be a huge recession in Europe, and I’m not sure that private individuals will and can invest in a time of recession. Although our officials announce that there will be more factory openings, I think that will have to wait for better times. Not because Serbia is not a good destination, but it is a consequence of the crisis we are in and which will be deeper – says Savić.

When it comes to total investments, he expects the state to reduce the level of investment. He does not believe that he will abandon capital projects such as the Moravian Corridor, the Preljina-Požega and New Belgrade-Surčin highways. Nothing will change there, he says. All other capital projects will not be stopped, but the dynamics of works will be reduced.

In his opinion, this is completely expected because it is a consequence of the economic crisis we are in and which will be even more severe than it is at the moment, so the state must adapt to it.