With investments of EUR 750 million, France was the biggest individual investor in Serbia in 2018, and the director of the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Sanja Ivanic, said that, in presenting Serbia to French investors, they emphasized the competence of the workforce, not its low price, or the geographic position.
Ivanic said on RTS that the number of French companies investing in Serbia was growing.
– Around 120 French companies operate in Serbia, among which are many large companies, such as Vinci, or Suez in Vinca. They contribute considerably to the increase of the total investments of France in Serbia – Ivanic said.
She expects the employment trend to continue, as those companies now employ 11,000 to 12,000 people.
She said that it was a good sign that small and medium companies had started arriving too, as they are much more cautious in choosing markets than Italian and German companies. Last year, seven SMEs which no longer concentrate just on Belgrade, but on all Serbia, arrived here.
In addition to informing companies, the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce also finds partners for them, and the automotive industry is a good example.
– A lot of companies, suppliers in the automotive industry, are interested, and they have been informed about the growing of the automotive sector here and want to do business here. There’s Michelin, the biggest individual employer in Serbia, and Hutchinson has been here for three years as well and has already doubled its production volume – Ivanic said.
She said that there were the indicators that showed that “France is finally on its way to expanding and fortifying its presence in Serbia”.
– We hope that President Macron’s visit will confirm this, allowing France to take its rightful place among foreign investors – Ivanic said.
The foreign trade with France reached the amount of around EUR 500,000 in exports and as much in imports, which is around 7.8% more than last year and twice as much as in 2010.