Of all the German companies operating in Serbia, 57% are satisfied with the conditions of doing business in the country, as per the survey conducted by the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK), which showed that all German investors operating in Serbia would decide to invest again in the country.
German and Serbian companies, members of AHK, positively rated the business climate in Serbia, and 88% of them said that they would invest again in Serbia, as shown by AHK’s 14th survey among its members.
The survey also shows that AHK members have positive expectations within their own operations and that they are satisfied with the labor market, but they also point out that there need to be more intensive efforts to counter the corruption and strengthen the legal security and transparency in public procurement procedures in the upcoming period.
This year’s results show that, for the first time, a fourth of the surveyed participants consider the economic situation in Serbia good. Six years ago, four out of five subjects deemed it bad, whereas now only one in five subjects believe so.
When it comes to the development of operations and additional employments in 2019, 51% of the companies expect the number of employees to increase this year, whereas 47% believe that the number of employees will remain unchanged. Only 2% believe that the number of employees in their companies will decrease this year. Furthermore, 43% of the subjects, slightly less than last year, believe that they will invest again in 2019, whereas only 4% believe that investments will decrease, nearly a half less than last year. The rest do not expect any changes.
Summing up the results of the survey, the president of AHK, Ronald Seeliger, said that there were obvious reasons to be satisfied and that this lead to a constant growth of the trade between Germany and Serbia.
– The good news is, undoubtedly, that members of AHK estimate that conditions of doing business in Serbia are continuously improving and that they are expressing interest in further investments and employments. On the other hand, there are still areas which have been emphasized for years now as the main problems of the Serbian economy, such as legal security and fighting corruption, which need to be intensified – Seeliger said.
– The current position of Serbia on the map of investment destinations in the international environment is in the middle, which means that the competition never sleeps. That’s why I always point out that business people are important ambassadors of any country and that it’s important to hear their voice and to further strengthen the cooperation of the state and the economy. In that respect, the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce will continue being one of the most important partners – Seeliger said.
Ambassador of Germany to Serbia Thomas Schieb said that he was pleased with the good results of this year’s survey.
– The reaction of the German economy confirms the constantly positive trend in the German-Serbian economic relations, which is reflected, among other things, in the increasing number of companies present in the Serbian market, the growing volume of investments and numerous value-generating projects here in Serbia. The improvement of the economic situation in Serbia, as a result of the important reforms carried out by the Government of Serbia, largely contributes to this – Schieb stated, adding that dedicated work on reforms needed to continue to the end of further improving the business climate. The assessment the companies made is an important indicator.
Schieb said that, when he assumed duty, there were 48,000 employees in German companies in Serbia officially, whereas now, a year later, there are 60,000.
Within the survey conducted by AHK in 16 states of Central and Eastern Europe, the subjects also rated other countries. Serbia placed 11th of the total of 19 countries on the list ranking the desirability of the location, same as in the past years. The companies which already operate in Serbia have a better opinion of Serbia than those which have never operated in the country.
Although the overall impression is that Serbia is still a very desirable destination for investments, the competition in Central and Eastern Europe is very strong, so Serbia needs to be dedicated to actively improving the conditions of doing business.