DIRECTOR RAS FOR DIPLOMACY&COMMERCE: Pandemics can harm investments, but that has not been the case with Serbia
No investor gave up investing in Serbia, and all construction and other works relating to the implementation of investment projects went without major problems, even during the state of emergency, points out Mr. Radoš Gazdić director of the Development Agency of Serbia (RAS) in the November issue of the Diplomacy&Commerce magazine.
In the interview for this magazine, Gazdić spoke about the current situation in Serbia and economic trends. He points out that this year may come as a surprise and although pandemics of this type can potentially negatively affect investments, that has not been the case with Serbia.
Answering the question about the negative effects of the pandemic on the FDI and investment projects, director RAS emphasizes that, with or without pandemic, 2019 was the record year regarding FDI for Serbia, and it would certainly be a challenge to repeat it even in the perfect conditions.
„Of course, pandemics of this type can potentially affect investments, although that is not the case with Serbia. We are very pleased that no investor who had previously decided to invest in Serbia, changed their decision and gave up. All construction and other works relating to the implementation of investment projects went without major problems, even during the state of emergency. We should bear in mind that, in terms of FDIs, 2019 was the best year ever, with a total of 3,81 billion euros of FDI made, which will be difficult, but not impossible to exceed. I would not underestimate 2020 either, considering that, for instance, we have so far signed 20 contracts on the allocation of incentive funds for companies that are planning to invest 1.16 billion euro and create 4,882 new jobs, and that nine more contracts are in the process of being concluded which stipulate 502.1 million euro worth of investments and jobs for 1,783 people. We will see by the year-end how the situation develops. Maybe, 2020 ends up being a positive surprise,“ says Gazdić.
Additionally, director RAS talks about activities and programs Agency has developed aimed to help domestic companies and to improve their capacities and strengthen their ability to reduce risks in the long run, which has been shown as crucial in these challenging times as the Covid crisis certainly is.
As he mentions, pandemics have demonstrated the vulnerability of the world supply chains but have also opened the possibility for companies to become new partners of the „big players“ in their reconstructed chains of supply. Fortunately, the Development Agency of Serbia is making visible efforts to enhance the business capacities of the local suppliers by implementing the Supplier Development Program since 2019.
„Serbian companies have the opportunity to become suppliers of big global business ‘players’. Currently, supply chains are facing the biggest challenges, and now is the time when many companies are looking for new collaborators, i.e. suppliers who will be geographically closer to the headquarters, which is mainly in Europe. Logistically speaking, that is a simpler solution for them, and this is where our companies have a great opportunity, particularly in producing parts for the machine, electronic, automotive, rubber, and plastic industry,“ concludes the director of the Development Agency of Serbia.
Read the entire interview HERE.