Call on German businessmen to invest in Serbia

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic stated today that the first indicators in 2013 confirm optimistic estimates that a growth in foreign direct investment and overall economic activity will take place in Serbia this year.

Opening the Serbia-Germany Business Forum at the Palace of Serbia, Ljajic underlined that a 5.7% growth in industrial production was recorded in the first quarter of the year, while the economic growth, i.e. GDP, increased by 1.9% and exports increased by as much as 24% in relation to the same period last year.

The Deputy Prime Minister expressed the hope that the deficit will be reduced from 6.7% to the maximum of 4.5% of GDP, and added that according t оo the forecasts of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Serbia will experience an economic growth of 2.5% in 2013, 3.5% in 2014 and up to 4% in 2015.

He said that the prospects for economic growth will be based on the increase in production and exports, and the growth in overall economic activity, as well as in the significant financial discipline, which should lead to a reduction in public debt and budget deficit.

Ljajic pointed out that reforms are needed in all sectors to improve the overall investment climate, and noted that this and any future government must work on addressing the problem of administrative and bureaucratic procedures.

He called on German businessmen to invest in Serbia, which is a favourable place for investment and making profits.

Ljajic said that the Serbia-Germany Business Council has ten years of successful work behind it, and added that the foreign trade between the two countries during this period increased from €1.2 billion to €2.6 billion annually.

He pointed out that the exports from Serbia to Germany have increased four times in the last ten years, that Germany is the first trade partner of Serbia and among the five largest investors in the country.

According to him, there are 370 German companies in Serbia, which employ 25,000 people and deliver new technologies and standards.

In a recent poll made with German companies that do business in Serbia, as many as 88% said that they would do business in Serbia again, 37% stated that they will increase investment, and 39% they will increase the number of workers, he specified.

State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology Stefan Kapferer said that his country supports Serbia in the implementation of structural reforms, as German’s strength in today’s Europe is based on structural reforms the benefits of which the country is reaping now.