We lack construction workers and drivers above all, but companies are also looking for workers of other profiles abroad, and Serbia is, logically, one of the destinations where workers are recruited for the Czech labor market.
Geographical proximity, a similar language and culture, as well as positive historical relations, are understandably a strong motivating factor not just for Czech companies, but for Serbian workers looking for a job in our country as well.eKapija: In 2017, Czechoslovak Group officially acquired the Krusevac-based company 14. oktobar and RC Reinvest Serbia opened the first shopping center in Kraljevo and is planning to make further investments in Serbia. How many Czech companies do currently operate in Serbia?
– Although the embassy does not have precise statistical data, we know of several dozen business entities that operate in Serbia.
However, short-term statistics are not that important anyway. More important is the medium-term trend.
I am very glad that this trend is rather positive and that it has been constantly accelerating in the past years. Positive experiences of certain companies have attracted other interested companies, so there are more and more Czech firms in Serbia.
At the same time, the total number of active Serbian companies in the Czech Republic is considerably lower. However, there’s no doubt that there is a considerable potential, which is nevertheless limited by the more complex legislature and regulations within the single European market.eKapija: In the past period, there have been frequent Czech-Serbian business forums. How important are those meetings and what are their concrete results?
– Business forums are one of several instruments of economic diplomacy. In today’s digital and online world, we can’t overestimate them, but, on the other hand, I believe that few arrangements can be made without business people talking to each other eye to eye.
These meetings are also an opportunity to give the initial impulse for establishing the cooperation, but it is only through subsequent hard work of both partners that results are produced.
I believe that these meetings do have a place in building economic relations and that they will have it in the future as well.eKapija: This year, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Serbia will be marked. How do you see the current state of our countries’ political relations?
– The mutual relations of our countries are on a very high level. There are no open political issues and the Czech Republic unequivocally supports Serbia’s joining the EU.