Serbia has been ranked world leader in the number of new jobs created in 2016 – as a proportion of the population size – and therefore the best place to invest, according to the Global Location Trends report by the US technology company IBM. Also, based on the criterion of the number of created jobs compared to the number of started projects in 2016, Serbia has been listed fifth among European countries, before Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, France, Polish, and on the 13th place worldwide.
The Development Agency of Serbia (DAS) has announced that in the last year 22 investment contracts have been executed which are expected to bring in around 240 million euros of investment and create more than 17,000 jobs – a best result in the last ten years. DAS is currently in negotiations with 50 potential investors, which could additionally lead to decisions to invest 1 billion euros and create 20,000 new jobs.
The majority of projects are in the automotive industry, but there is a lot of interest in electronics, machine industry, textile and agriculture as well. The largest investments come from the US, Western Europe, Middle and Far East and Asia. The most frequently cited reasons for investing in Serbia are primarily the political and economic stability, a unique set of free trade agreements (EU, US, Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, EFTA, CEFTA, Turkey), a market of 1.2 billion consumers of Serbian products, 14 free zones, tax incentives, favorable geographic location, educated, qualified and competitive workforce as well as competitive operating costs.
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