Which economic sectors are potential for Serbia?

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Industry is the main economic activity in Serbia, since the largest volume of national income, as well as the number of employees is formed in this economic sector, writes Aleksandar Colic for Avocado. The first industrial company in Serbia was established back in 1851 – the Topolivnica in Kragujevac.
According to the standard division of industries, we distinguish between heavy and light industry – heavy industry produces means of production, while light industry provides means of mass consumption. Today’s main industries of Serbia mostly belong to light industry, which mostly developed after the Second World War.
Nevertheless, Serbia has always had favorable conditions for the development of many branches of industry, which is best reflected in the successful food industry, which has always been one of the most successful activities in the country. Unfavorable socio-economic conditions in this area have led to the extinction of many branches of industry, however, some have managed to survive to this day. Such are the industries we are talking about in this text – wood industry, tourism, food industry, textile industry and hydropower.
Wood industry – quality that follows world standards
In recent years, the wood and furniture industry sector in Serbia has been growing. According to some data, compared to 2018, in 2019, the production of furniture was higher by 6.3 percent, and the export of furniture by 12 percent. The wood industry, therefore, has been noticed as an untapped potential of our country.
The trend continues to grow, and many Serbian companies from this industry are some of the largest exporters in our country. According to the data of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the largest furniture exporter in 2018 had a share of 21 percent of the total value of furniture exports.
Apart from the furniture industry, an increasing offer of floor coverings can be noticed in Serbia, which follow world quality standards.
Tourism – Serbia is a country that offers a variety of content to its visitors
Tourism is one of the branches of industry that has been in its infancy in Serbia for years. Despite the fact that recent world events and the corona virus pandemic have dealt a strong blow to the tourism sector around the world, it should be borne in mind that tourism is one of the industries that has the potential to recover the fastest after the crisis.
This has been confirmed on several occasions, even after extreme crises such as wars and natural disasters. Tourism in Serbia has a lot to offer. For many years, Belgrade has been one of the favorite places of tourists around the world, especially young people, thanks to a very developed nightlife and extremely affordable prices.
Apart from Belgrade, mountain, rural and spa tourism stand out as the main tourist attractions. The main mountain tourist centers of Serbia are Kopaonik, Rudnik, Divcibare, Tara, Zlatibor and Stara planina. Serbia has fantastic conditions for further development of rural tourism.
Some predictions suggest that it can generate several billion euros annually. However, there is still a lot of room for the development of rural tourism, since the current accommodation capacities cannot satisfy the needs of a larger number of tourists at once. Well-known tourist villages in Serbia are Sicevo, Sirogojno, Mokra Gora and Kostunici.
Food industry – quality that is not in question
The food industry is an industry that has always been dominant in our area. The reason for that, of course, is the fact that Serbia has almost ideal conditions for growing different crops of fruits, vegetables and cereals. The land is very fertile, thanks to which high quality products are created.
In addition to an excellent production base, Serbia also boasts technologically advanced production. Food produced in Serbia is exported around the world, and is sold in the most famous food chains.
The most popular products of the Serbian food industry are raspberries, apples, corn, winter vegetables, frozen and dried vegetables and fruits, as well as the famous Serbian truffles, which are in increasing demand over the years.
Textile industry – represented in all parts of the country
The textile industry in Serbia is a sector with a long tradition. Our most famous centers of the textile industry are Paracin, Leskovac, Grdelica, Vucje, Pirot, Paracin, Subotica, Nis and Vranje.
These centers house the production of woolen fabrics and cotton, the production of carpets, as well as clothing and underwear. Products of the textile industry of Serbia, for many years are one of the main export potentials, which offers high quality products at very competitive prices.
Even in the age of coronavirus, the textile industry managed to maintain long-term cooperation with some of the world’s leading companies for the production and distribution of clothing.
Hydropower – an invaluable treasure of Serbia
Serbia is rich in energy sources, among which water power stands out. At a time when there is more and more talk about the importance of inexhaustible renewable energy sources, we can proudly emphasize the natural potential of Serbia’s water resources. The rivers Drina, Danube and Morava have the greatest hydropower potential.
Depending on the hydrological situation in Serbia, hydroelectric power plants in our country produce up to 25% of the total electricity per year. The first hydroelectric power plants in Serbia were put into operation in 1955 – they were the hydroelectric power plants of Vlasina, and later Morava. Today, the largest amount of electricity is produced by the Djerdap hydroelectric power plant.
Djerdap I and II hydroelectric power plants were built on the Danube, one of the rivers with the greatest hydropower potential in Serbia. Djerdap I is the first hydroelectric power plant in Serbia that completely operated according to Tesla’s three-phase alternating current systems. It is still the largest hydroelectric power plant in Serbia, and it was put into operation in August 1970.
Although these are the most important industries in Serbia, they were significantly weakened in the last decade of the 20th century. After 2013, there is a renewed growth of industrial production, but the fact is that all branches of industry in Serbia have the potential to achieve even greater progress and income in the future.
We hope that good governance and more favorable socio-economic circumstances in the future will support the industrial progress of our country and that the economic sector will have the opportunity to realize its full potential, BiF reports.