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Why Serbia

Political stability

For a long time, Serbia did not have such a stable political situation. Progressive Party is dominantly leading the new government with huge majority in the parliament. Recent election ended in 1H 2016 gave existing Prime Minister new major support to continue restructuring the country and he begins his second mandate. Even with restructuring, cuts and savings, the Prime Minister got big support from the public, so Serbia is entering the future with high stability, bigger than any other regional country and its core peers.

Position and Climate

Together with political comes the macro stability which is reflected in agreement with the IMF, its support for the government, continuation of existing restructuring plan, and other macro data such as inflation, currency, etc… Inflation is low and stable with expectations for gradual rise within targeted corridor of 4,0%±1,5%, with NBS closely watching outer movements and pressures and timely adopting policy changes to match the outside and inside dynamics. NBS keeping currency stable in current very dynamic environment and risk events, such as Brexit etc… The key reference rate stands at 4,0%, and is expected to stay or oscillate around that level with trending to fall rather than to rise. This should support trend of lowering already low banking rates. Loans rates for businesses and real estates are already on a very low level not seen in years and banks are well suited for crediting businesses.

Financial Benefits and Stimulus

Cash Grants
The National Employment Service Grantsbr>      Employment Subsidies Program
     Apprentice Program
     Re-Training Program
Free Imports of Raw Materials, Semi-Finished Goods and Equipment
Land Subsidy
Local Stimulus

Low Taxes and Business Costs

Profit Tax – 10% to 15%, depending on business
Corporate Income Tax Relief
Carrying Forward of Losses
Avoiding Double Taxation
Payroll Tax Incentives
Annual Income Tax Deductions

Optimal Location

Republic of Serbia is located at the crossroads between the West and the East, which provides for an optimal position for delivering finished products to markets across the World. Investments into infrastructure continue to be one of the government’s top priorities. In 2015, 91.1 km of highways were constructed and more than 190 km of existing roadways were rehabilitated. In 2016, plan is to construct further 90.7 km of highways and to begin a four-year project with the aim to rehabilitate around 1,100 km of existing roadways. Transportation costs in Serbia are very competitive. The closest sea port is Bar port in Montenegro. The second port that Serbia has good connections with is Thessaloniki port in Greece. Third port is Constanta in Romania.

Free Zones

Entry of goods, transportation, electricity, gas and other services provided to users of Free Zones, as well as supplies of goods and services within the Free Zones in Serbia is exempted from Value Added Tax. There are 14 Free Zones currently operating in the country: Subotica, Apatin, Novi Sad, Zrenjanin, Belgrade, Sabac, Smederevo, Svilajnac, Kragujevac, Uzice, Priboj, Krusevac, Pirot and Vranje.

Quality, Competitive, Cost-Efficient Labor Force

Highly qualified staff in Serbia is widely available. The labor force in Serbia is well educated, proficient in foreign languages, innovative and equipped with strong management skills. The number of engineers, machinists, managers, and other specialists is sufficient to meet the growing demand of international companies. Yearly, the labor supply increases by approximately 43,000 university and 2-year college graduates and 75,000 high school graduates. Efficiency of the Serbian workforce has been consistently proven as exceptional. For example, Fiat plant located in Kragujevac is recording efficiency 25% higher than at the same type of a plant in Italy. Company Ball Packaging is consistently performing at 96% of its capacity at their plant near Belgrade, which is the top performance across their plants throughout the world. Swedish company Tetra Pak has awarded its Serbian unit as the most efficient among its 45 factories worldwide.

Local schools and universities are recognized for working with the industry to continuously tailor their programs to fit the market needs, developing future employees that are ready to contribute from day one. Due to high unemployment rates and traditional loyalty towards employers, attrition rate is very low.

Leader in SEE/ Balkan region

Establishing business or office in Serbia, investors can almost equally cover the hole Balkan region and the market of around 20+ million customers. Language barriers are almost non existing between Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosna, Macedonia, as all ex Yu countries recognize Serbian language, while distances between capital cities from Belgrade are very modest. So, office in Serbia can act as complete center for the Balkan / SEE region.

Belgrade Water Front Project

Rapid growth of Belgrade-based airport Nikola Tesla proves this with 5m passengers annually, while UAE and Etihad choose Serbia and Belgrade for the center and connection bridge to West and East Europe, as well as Middle East and North America.

Free Access and Export to Russia and 1 bn+ Customers

Externally, Serbia can serve as a manufacturing hub for duty-free exports to a market of 1 billion people that includes the European Union, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Turkey, South East Europe, the European Free Trade Agreement members, and Belarus. These customs-free regimes cover most key industrial products, with only a few exceptions and annual quotas for a limited number of goods.

Market Trade Regime Number of inhabitants
European Union Preferential Trade Regime 494,070,000
USA Generalized System of Preferences 302,558,000
Russia, Belarus and kazakhstan Free Trade Agreement 168,640,600
CEFTA Free Trade Agreement 29,990,542
EFTA Free Trade Agreement 13,000,000
Turkey Free Trade Agreement 75,000,000
  Total Market Size 1,083,259,142

Source: RAS

Low costs and healthy environment in the heart of South Eastern Europe

Serbia is recognized also by its richness of spa and wellness centers across whole country. The people are fanatics about sports, with most popular football, basketball, tennis and volleyball. Serbia as agriculture land with almost half of its territory under suitable land for cultivating grains produces very healthy food without GMO and very affordable. Country is also rich with different mineral water sources near spa centers. There are plenty or rivers and lakes, as well as mountains for summer and winter sports and recreations.