⬆ Xingyu Automotive Lighting Systems of Nis INVESTMENTp)
Within the last five years, the Republic of Serbia became one of the world’s top investment destinations. The international organizations, international media outlets, and research organizations dealing with foreign direct investments, such as Financial Times and its platform fDi magazine, IBM Global Location trends, and many others, have rated Serbia as the most attractive investment location and the part of the “next wave of preferred locations for companies” in the world and Europe. According to the Financial Times service fDi intelligence, in 2019 and 2020 Serbia was the number 1 in the world and Europe (2020) for the number of the greenfield investment project, the so-called FDI performance rating. Not only the success was made in terms of a number of projects, but the country was able to decrease the unemployment rate from over 25% in 2012 to an unbelievable one-digit score (9.8%) in 2021.
The major success driver was the fact that FDI projects in the recent period have created new job opportunities. As IBM’s Global Location Trends report said once, for a country of its size Serbia has made extraordinary results in creating new jobs through FDI – in 2017, 2018, and 2019 country held the title of World Number 1 when it comes to the number of estimated jobs created from FDI per million inhabitants.
Investors from all over the world are present here, with names such as Bosch, Michelin, Siemens, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – Stellantis, Microsoft, ZF, Yazaki, Brose, Toyo Tires, Panasonic, Cooper Tires, Tarkett, Ling Long, Nestle, MTU Aero Engines, NCR, Magna, Continental, Bizerba, Hansgrohe, Eaton, Stada, Swarovski, Mei Ta, Gorenje, Schneider Electric, Nidec, Adient, Minth, Johnson Controls, Johnson Electric, Leoni, Barry Callebaut…
The reason why they have chosen Serbia for doing business and investing sums up to the country’s economic and political stability, an optimal geographic location that serves as a gateway between the East and the West, highly competitive operating costs and tremendous talent pool, all followed by the great support either non-financial or financial of the Government.
Economic & Political Stability and a Government as a Reliable Partner
Impressive results in attracting foreign direct investment projects (FDI) are a natural outcome of the comprehensive reforms the country is undertaking, as well as a responsible, accountable, and stable approach to leading the country by the Government of the Republic of Serbia. The Government shows continuity and tries to deliver the most predictable environment for doing business. From the investors’ perspective, it is crucial to have a good business environment and a reliable partner when they are searching for the ideal investment location. A predictable system, professional and efficient public administration and public institutions, and openness for cooperation toward mutual goals – economic development and growth, are something that Serbian Government and its institutions are. More than that, hundreds of investment projects would not be possible to achieve without the highly dedicated and trustworthy partner which investors have in the Government, as well as the cabinet of the President of the Republic of Serbia. Both institutions have a willingness to listen and work together for the best outcomes, and investors appreciate this friendly approach. The Government has made an effort in the last 10 years to improve economic parameters and create a business environment that attracts new business opportunities. Through comprehensive reforms of the fiscal system, a broad range of law changes, reaching remarkable GDP growth rates for years now, lowering the inflation and decreasing the unemployment rate, improving the labor status, as well as the education system, health care system, and so forth, Serbian Government has shown sharp focus on growth and future. And, investors from all over the world recognize that. In 2021 Serbia once again showed extraordinary results when it comes to the attraction of foreign direct investments (FDI) reaching 3.863 billion euros of FDI. This is even higher than the record in 2019 when we had 3.815 billion euros of FDI. Nevertheless, the trust of the investors was best shown within the challenging 2020, when the entire world was facing drops in the economy in general, especially in direct investments. In 2020, not a single investor has canceled its announced project in Serbia, but some have also expanded their activities and new investors have also decided to start a business here. That is how Serbia maintained its leadership position when it comes to FDI even in the crisis, accomplishing 3.039 billion euros of FDI in 2020.
Investments from China are The 2Nd Largest in Serbia
The People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Serbia have demonstrated what impressive relations between the two countries truly mean. The iron-clad friendship between the two countries has grown through the years and has became the best example of mutual support, understanding, and care. Our two nations have enhanced great relationships even more during the Covid-19 pandemic, showing to each other solidarity and support. During these difficult times for the entire globe, we have witnessed that the People’s Republic of China is our sincere friend. This iron-clad friendship will emerge even more unbreakable after being tested by various risks and challenges in the recent period. Serbia is a part of the Belt and Road Initiative, which helps the faster and better development of the country’s infrastructure. Many of the undergoing and important infrastructural projects in Serbia, such as the reconstruction of the railways and construction of the roads and bridges are being done in close collaboration with Chinese partners within this Initiative.
In terms of investments, friendship is far more visible. More than 20 companies from China are operating in Serbia, employing over 21.000 people. China is the second biggest country-investor in Serbia with the total investments coming from Chinese companies of €3.176 billion, since 2010. In 2021 FDI from China was €774 million, and in the first 3 months of the current year €243.3 million.
Some of the biggest Chinese investments and names in Serbia are Zijin mining, Linglong Tire, Minth Group, Hisense Group/Gorenje, He Steel/HBIS Group, Diplon, Healthcare Europe, Ningbo Jifeng, Best Resources International/Eurofiber. There are also the Bank of China, Johnson Electric, HNA Aviation/SR Technics, Yanfeng, Meita, Xingyu Lightning, and others…
Zijin Mining, the mining and energy company, is present in Serbia since 2018 when it took over 63% of the ownership in RTB Bor decapitalizing 350 million dollars at that time. The Serbia Zijin Copper DOO deals with the research and exploitation of copper ore, whose processing produces high-quality cathode copper and precious metals in the smelter. It is the only producer of copper and precious metals (gold and silver) in Serbia. Zijin has invested over 1.2 billion euros in Serbia so far and employs 6.073 people. In 2021 and 2020 Zijin Bor Cooper was the largest exporter in Serbia.
Ling Long Tire is globally among the top 20 largest tire producers. The Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., Ltd. is a specialized and large-scale technology-oriented tire manufacturer. The company came to Serbia in 2019 when it started the construction of its production plant in the City of Zrenjanin. The company has decided to invest over 800 million euros in a manufacturing plant in Serbia and plans to employ around 1.200 workers.
MINTH Group, a leader in the design, production, and sales of both structural and decorative vehicle components, decided to start its business in Serbia in 2019. This is one of the largest investments in Serbia which produces components for battery housings for electric vehicles, as well as decorative aluminium elements for car bodies. The investment of 170 million euros in Serbia opened more than 1.100 new jobs. The Grand opening of the production plant was in March 2022, in the Municipality of Loznica where the production is located.
The world’s leading manufacturer of turbocharger housings, Mei Ta Group, is also one of the investors present in Serbia. The first project in Serbia Mei Ta started in 2015 for casting and machining of parts for the automotive industry, and afterward started expansion of plant for the production of turbocharger housings, targeting over 124 million euros of investment in Serbia with current 2.767 employees.
Why Invest in Serbia
As already mentioned, political and economic stability and continuity are essential bases for attracting new investments and the first steps for investors to consider Serbia as a place to start their business. Without a doubt, investors have underlined this a quality the Republic of Serbia certainly has, and that is the reason why many already present investors decide to reinvest and expand their activities in Serbia.
Apart from that, success in attracting the FDI in the last years followed by the tremendous experience we as a country have regarding cooperation with investors, implementation of big projects, and facilitation of the projects gives extra value to the quality and speed of the realization of the investment projects. Nowadays, the Government team that is dedicated to foreign investments, works promptly on every project, and follows it from the initial step (expressing the interest in investing) until the final phase when the project has been already implemented and the company starts operating in Serbia. This process is done in close in collaboration with all relevant institutions in the country. Not only that, even when the project is finalized, the Development Agency of Serbia, as a lead investments-related Government Agency, supports companies through a sort of aftercare services. We stay in touch with all the investors and try to act as a bridge between the private sector and Government institutions.
What has become the most important to investors nowadays is the fact that in Serbia they can count on highly qualified human resources. The top-performing talent pool relies on a successful and well-organized educational system, which includes combination of public and private schools, universities, and faculties. In Serbia, we have 8 public universities and 82 public faculties, 10 private universities and 47 faculties, and the entire system has a strong background in engineering, IT, physics, and mathematics. Out of 242,550 active students, around 35% are STEM students.
Additionally, Serbia is the first and only country in this part of Europe with dual education legal framework based on the German and Swiss models and definite winner of dual education system implementation in Europe. Currently, over 900 companies from different sectors have already taken part in this program. When it comes to foreign languages proficiency, Serbian people are among the first 15 in the world with the High Proficiency Score.
Moreover, Serbia offers competitive operating costs if investors decide to set their business here. For example, corporate profit tax is 15%, which is, lower than some of the countries in this part of Europe, like Romania (16% corporate tax rate), Slovenia (19%), or the Czech Republic (19%). We are witnessing the rising demand for office space all over Europe and an increase in the costs of real estate rentals. In Serbia, the construction of real estate is booming, especially in the capital city, and in bigger cities, office spaces are being built. The prices of office space in Serbia are far more attractive than in countries of the EU. Additionally, labor costs on an average basis also are more competitive than in EU countries such as Romania, Hungary, or Slovakia. If you add competitive utility fees (electricity, gas, water) there is one more reason to consider where to invest.
Serbia’s optimal geographic location keeps you close to your customers with the ability to serve most EU markets by road in less than 24 hours. Many focal points of central Europe can be reached within just one day. The country has been investing and working on the infrastructural projects that enable connection and faster transport of people and goods – highways and motorways, reconstruction of the fast railway Belgrade-Budapest, construction of Belgrade metro…
Setting the business in Serbia, an investor gets the opportunity to connect with a wide range of customers, potential co-operators, and markets due to the optimal geographical location of the country and different free-trade agreements Serbia has signed. Externally, Serbia can serve as a manufacturing hub for duty-free exports to a market of more than 1.3 billion people that includes the European Union, the Eurasian Economic Union, USA, Japan, Australia, South East Europe, the European Free Trade Agreement members, and Turkey. This customs-free regime covers most key industrial products, with only a few exceptions and annual quotas for a limited number of goods.
In Serbia, companies can have an additional benefit from the possibility to operate within the designed industrial zones. Such zones offer advantages such as a streamlined process for obtaining land, favorable geographic locations, and ready-to-use infrastructure. Currently, 15 of those industrial zones are also licensed free customs zones: Pirot, Subotica, Zrenjanin, FAS Kragujevac, Sumadija Kragujevac, Sabac, Novi Sad, Uzice, Smederevo, Svilajnac, Krusevac, Apatin, Vranje, Priboj, and Belgrade.
Last, but not least in Serbia investors can expect diverse types of benefits that include a combination of both financial and non-financial benefits and incentives. To offset initial capital investments and set the start-up of business endeavors, the Government of Serbia offers financial support for projects in the manufacturing sector, and the services if subject to international trade. Besides that, investors can apply for different tax benefits, reliefs related to R&D activities, employees and foreign staff, incentives for new employees and training, and so forth.
Serbia has grown into one of the most popular investment destinations in the world. Today we are talking about the over 3 billion euros of FDI each year and recognizable brands who decide to set and grow their business exactly in Serbia. A major part of the FDIs come from Germany, Italy, China, the USA, France, Austria, and Turkey. Some of the most popular industries are the automotive industry, Electronics, and electrical sector, the machinery and equipment industry, the ICT sector that is blooming, the agro-food industry, and construction.
It is more and more often that investors decide to establish not only manufacturing activities here but to develop and create innovation and new products in Serbia. We are proud to witness and support the high-tech projects that bring the latest technology solutions to Serbia and state-of-art solutions. Implementation of high technologies, digital and smart solutions, along with the development of innovation in Serbia is the country’s goal, as we are oriented towards future and faster economic and technological developmen
紫金矿业是一家矿业和能源公司，自2018年以来，一直在塞尔维亚运营，当时该公司用3.5亿美元的资金收购了RTB Bor 铜冶炼厂63%的股权。塞尔维亚紫金铜公司从事铜矿石的研究和开发，其加工过程可以产出高质量的电解铜和贵金属。它是塞尔维亚唯一的铜和贵金属（金和银）生产商。紫金矿业迄今在塞尔维亚的投资已超过12亿欧元，拥有当地员工6073人。2020年和2021年，紫金博尔铜矿是塞尔维亚最大的出口商。
在塞尔维亚，如果公司在专门设计的产业园内经营的话，还可以享受到更多的益处。这些产业园具有诸如获得土地的简化流程、有利的地理位置和现成的基础设施等优势。目前，这些产业园中有15个是获得许可的自由关税区：皮罗、苏博蒂察、兹伦亚宁、FAS Kragujevac、Sumadija Kraguyevac、Sabac、Novi Sad、Uzice、Smederevo、Svilajnac、Krusevac、Apatin、Vranje、Priboj和贝尔格莱德。