Source: eKapija | Monday, 22.11.2010.| 10:08
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Department of Economy of Embassy of Great Britain to Belgrade – bridge between economies of two countries

NickGroves (Photo: b)

According to the data provided by the Embassy of Great Britain to Belgrade,trade exchange between Serbia and Great Britain in the first nine months ofyear 2007 amounted to more than 220m USD and it was 21.3% bigger than in thesame period in 2006.

According to the words of Nick Groves, Head of the Department of Economy ofEmbassy of Great Britain to Belgrade, last-year trade exchange was worth 260mUSD, 140m USD of which was value of export from Great Britain. He expressedexpectation that the value of trade exchange between the two countries by theend of year 2007 would reach amount of 300m USD

- The economy in Serbia is in incline. Progress in both trade and economy isobvious, which leads to wide variety of business opportunities. Serbia isbecoming a fertile soil for development of business. My opinion is that theEmbassy has significant position in this process, because we are doing our bestto make solid connection between British companies that operate in Serbia andSerbian companies that collaborate with Great Britain. We organizepresentation, receptions, informal events for representatives of British companies,their existing and potential partners in Serbia, and guests at these meetingsare also representatives of the Government of Serbia and government agencies.

NickGroves (Photo: b)

Export from Serbia to Great Britain is also growing.

- I think that the sector of agriculture, which is estimated as strategic byEU, is very strong and that it offers so many possibilities. Good example iscompany ”Libertas“ from Šabac that grows raspberries.This company excellently collaborates with British supermarket chains ”Tesco“and “Sainsbury`s“. What especially impressed me is the fact thatthe company have their products packed here. It is obvious that the standardsby which people in “Libertas” work are high enough for “Tesco“ and“Sainsbury`s“ to trust them that they will not endanger their reputation. Thatis very good, because growing number of Serbian companies are reaching qualitystandards and acquiring required certificates. The fact that they are focused onthat is very important because recent negotiations about Agreement onstabilization and admission create much more opportunities for export ofagricultural products.

- However, about 70% of Serbian export to Great Britain is realized by tireproduction sector, especially companies Tigar and Trayal. The latest Britishinvestment is cooperation between company Green House Investments andTigar in the tire recycling unit. They process old tires and producerubber floors for playgrounds, etc. The investment is worth 40m EUR.

In addition to investments in production, British companies are alsointerested in investments in the service sector. “Costa Caffee”chain has arrived in Belgrade and future Belgrade-based hotel with famous brandIntercontinental will once again be at service of the citizens of Belgrade, aswell as to those who are yet to come to the capital city of Serbia. Accordingto the words of Groves, Serbia also has great potential in thermal and mineralwaters.

- The British are interested in spa tourism. I think that Serbia has greatpotential in this sphere and, with its hydro-mineral resources, it represents areal treasury that is attractive to investors. There are rehabilitation centersthat should first receive certain investments. Wellness centers are also veryinteresting. Tourists can be also attracted to mountain centers, however,construction of hotel is required, as well as investments in infrastructure andski infrastructure. Mineral sources and bottling of drinking water can be veryprofitable business. Serbia has good brands, such as Knjaz Miloš, Voda Voda,Voda Vrnjci ... However, popular waters on the market of Britain are brandedwaters from the countries of Western Europe, for example French brands Evian andVolvic.

NickGroves (Photo: b)

Department of Trade within the Embassy is a part of organization UK Tradeand Investment, which was founded by British Ministry of Foreign Affairs andMinistry of Trade. The aim of the trade department is to work on developmentand improvement of cooperation between Great Britain and Serbia.

- Our basic activity is presentation of economy and economic potentials ofGreat Britain. However, we can help domestic companies in two ways. The firstone is related to import from Britain, while the other concerns distributionprojects. Although we haven’t had such case so far, we would like to helppotential Serbian investors if they were willing to invest in Great Britain. However,it would be the best for the companies that want to export Serbian products toBritish market to address the Embassy of Serbia to London that has much easieraccess to the system and can mediate more successfully, and we also collaboratevery well.

Global web page of organization UK Trade and Investment contains largenumber of address books and publications, as well as access to significantdatabases. Also, it contains information on ownership changes, integrations,trademarks, as well as trade fair centers, exhibits and congresses.

- Web presentation has about 17,000 registered users in Great Britain. Anymarket on the world, where we have our branch office, can access the databasewith business opportunities once it is registered. Also, markets can send theirown requests like, for example, “I would like to know more about opportunitiesfor investments in railways in southeast Europe” and the answers will be sentby email. Besides, we publish tenders, lists of business opportunities, and we alsoissue magazines, publications …Belgrade is among the first five globally activeembassies at this presentation, which only speaks in favor of level ofdevelopment of your economy sector – Groves explains.

In the meantime, Nick Groves has become the real citizen of Belgrade, heenjoys his living with his family in the old part of the city, rivers,restaurants, and he goes in for sports with his friends and work colleagues,and especially – rugby.

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