What the “Leap into the Future – Serbia 2027” Plan Worth EUR 17.8 Billion Envisages

Source: B92/Beta/eKapija Monday, 22.01.2024. 11:51
Illustration (Photo: Borislav Bajkic/shutterstock.com)Illustration
On Saturday evening, representatives of the Serbian authorities presented the program of the development of Serbia from 2024 till 2027, called “Leap into the Future – Serbia 2027”, in whose realization EUR 17.8 billion will be invested.

– We want to present everything that we will do in the next four years. The plan is all-encompassing and ambitious – said the president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic.

Within the program, in several points, the key segments of the planned all-encompassing development of Serbia were presented, among which are programs to raise the standard of living of citizens, projects in the fields of science and technology, education, infrastructure development, industrialization, energy, ecology, agriculture, health, tourism, as well as in other areas of national importance.

Citizens’ living standard

– The total value of everything we created in 2023 was 33 billion, and at the end of 2027, the gross domestic product will be higher than EUR 92 billion. We could reach 100 billion with more favorable geopolitical conditions, so, three times more than it used to be – said Vucic.

“Average salary in 2027 to be EUR 1,400”

As for salaries, he said that, in December 2024, the average salary was expected to be EUR 958, and that in 2025 the average salary in Serbia would exceed EUR 1,000 for the first time.

– Our goal is to reach EUR 1,400 for the entire Serbia in December 2027 – the president said.

As he said, “there is also the possibility of increasing the minimum wage to EUR 800, but that would bring about many problems with investors, but serious countries like Serbia can’t let that happen.”

“Average pension EUR 650 by the end of 2027”

Regarding pensions, he said that, in 2023, the average pension had been EUR 391 and that it was expected to be EUR 650 by the end of 2027.

– It will be a quantum leap, a leap into the future for pensioners – said Vucic.

Modernization of Serbia

This item was presented by the prime minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic and the minister of science, Jelena Begovic.

– EXPO 2027 in Serbia will be followed by the whole world. We will present a country of innovations and advanced technologies – Brnabic said talking about the accelerated modernization of Serbia.

“Export of ICT sector in 2027 to be EUR 10 billion”

Brnabic said that, this year, Serbia’s exports in the ICT sector would be EUR 3.5 billion.

– Nowadays, we produce and export in a month what we used to in a year. What we will do in 2027 is a quantum leap compared to everything we’ve done so far. Our exports will be EUR 10 billion then. That means that 140,000 people will be employed in this sector – Brnabic said.

– EUR 450 million will be invested in the construction of the BIO4 Campus. The best researchers, professors, students, but also our companies, will work there. They will work on improving the lives of the citizens, that is, on better healthcare, modern therapies, efficient agriculture, better quality food and overall, a higher quality. It will also prevent the leaving of young people, but also encourage the return of everybody and the arrival of foreigners to Serbia – said Begovic.

The prime minister pointed out that Serbia was one of the 11 countries to introduce the basics of artificial intelligence in the education program and that it was part of the global partnership for artificial intelligence.

– We are ready, but we have to work more and faster. That is why, in the coming period, by 2027, we will invest around EUR 70 million. An additional 30 million is for the new supercomputer – said Brnabic.

The prime minister also said that an additional 150 million would be spent on new science-technology parks, among others, in Nis, Krusevac, Cacak, Kragujevac, but also the expansions of those in Belgrade and Novi Sad.

“Increased Availability of Innovative Medical Drugs”

President Vucic announced that “from the middle of this year, you will not be able to find an innovative medical drug or a drug for a rare disease that is not available here and that is available somewhere else. The drug for the butterfly syndrome in children is available only in Germany, France and Serbia…”.

– In the next three years, we should increase the budgets for rare diseases, innovative medical drugs, more than EUR 200 million, of course, gradually – 85 million in the first year, then 150, and finally 200 million – Vucic announced.


Vucic also talked about the construction of roads and railroads and other infrastructure projects.

“Another 487 km of highways in next three years”

As for the roads, he said that, from 2012 up till that moment, 468 km of highways had been completed, and until 2027, another 427 km, amounting to more than 900 kilometers in the past 15 years. The plan is for another 487 km of highways to be done in the next three years, announced Vucic.

He then said which sections would be completed in the coming period:

– The section from Kosevi to Preljina remains, it will be done by 2025. The next is Pakovrace-Pozega, 19.5 km remains, and that will be done by October this year. The Sremska Raca-Kuzmin section, 19 km long, with the bridge in Sremska Raca, will be completed by the end of 2025. The Fruska Gora Corridor, a total of 47.5 km, will be done by June 2026. Then we have the Sabac-Loznica section, it will be completed soon, then the Danube Corridor, Pozarevac-Golubac section, which is 68 kilometers, that will be fully completed by 2026. The ring road around Novi Sad will be completed in two and a half years. Belgrade-Zrenjanin-Novi Sad, there will be a lot of trouble there, but it will still be done much before EXPO, we will finally get a good connection with Kovacica, both Idvor and Opovo. The Serbia Smile route of 168 km will be done by 2026.

“Over 2,000 km of railroads planned”

When it comes to the rail infrastructure, he said that over 2,000 km was planned in the next period.

– By the end of this year, it will take an hour and 12-13 minutes to get from Belgrade center to Subotica center, and soon, it will take an hour and 45 minutes to get to Nis from Belgrade by train – Vucic said and added that there were many obsolete railroads in Serbia “which will have to be reconstructed, and a lot will be invested in water traffic as well.”


“Continuation of subsidies to companies”

Vucic announced that Serbia would continue subsidizing companies with long-term plans for investments in Serbia. It was also said that the opening of 14 companies was planned.


“Growth of subsidies and additional loans”

As for agriculture, it was announced that the subsidies for the agrarian sector would grow 70% in the coming four year, and according to Vucic, the subsidies for livestock farmers, for milk and dairy products will grow the fastest.


“Without RHPP Bistrica, there will be no electricity”

Vucic stated that Serbia would invest “more than ever” in energy and estimated that, unless the reversible hydro power plant Bistrica is built, Serbia “will have no electricity.”

Talking about investments in energy, Vucic said that the construction of the reversible HPP Djerdap 3 should start and added that the final works on the TPP Kostolac B3 were in progress.

– We have big projects of construction of self-balancing solar power plants, as well as the wind farm Kostolac – the president said.

Construction of gas and oil capacities

He said that the Serbia-Hungary oil pipeline was being built, as well as the gas interconnection toward North Macedonia.

– We have to build two gas capacities, as well as an expansion near the gas field Cestereg. No one is asking where our electricity is coming from and how come there are no problems with it. Well, there are no problems since we are spending enormous amounts of gas, even for electricity. In the cold days, we are now spending up to 17.5 million cubic meters of gas – Vucic said.

“Continuation of energy repair of buildings”

He announced that Serbia would continue with the energy repair of buildings, which, as he said, needs to be accelerated.

“Decision on lithium to be made by the new government”

Vucic said that the decision on the exploitation of lithium would be adopted by the new government.

He added that “as for my opinion, I’ve long since said what it is.”

– The previous government did not accept my idea, they had a different opinion, or it was easier for them for it not to be accepted, due to street protests – Vucic said.

He added that, from Loznica to Bajina Basta, where the lithium would be mined, 105,000 people live, “so it should be considered whether anyone will stay there if there’s no work, or how many people would arrive to that area if the minimum wage was EUR 1,000 for 2,000 people” who would work on that.

He also said that Serbia had new gold, calcite and molybdenum mines and that professors from the Faculty of Mining should be hired, because “that is the essence of the development of a country, and Serbia is lagging behind the most in that field and that is why, in the next four years, we will work the most on that.”

EXPO 2027

The minister of finance of Serbia, Sinisa Mali, talked about what was going to be built within EXPO.

– In 2027, Serbia will be center of the world. We will host the biggest event which will be held that year. Belgrade beat America, Thailand and Argentina. It is a big privilege to us – said Mali.

He presented what EXPO would look like and said that it would spread on 250 hectares of land and that the necessary water and sewer networks were being installed and that everything had to be completed by December 2026.

As for the facilities, he said, it would consist of a fair complex with the EXPO complex, a residential complex, a water sports center and a masterpiece of architecture – the National Stadium.

“New bridge by 2027”

According to him, Belgrade will get a new rail station in New Belgrade and it will be connected with the Belgrade bus station, which will become operational in the next several months.

“Now look of the existing fair location”

Mali explained that the location of the current Belgrade Fair would get a new look, whereby Hall 1 would be preserved and become the epicenter of culture.

– We will create three opera halls there, it will be a place for ballet and opera troupes – he said.

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