At the Investment Conference of Serbia at Expo 2020 Dubai, it was pointed out that Serbia is on its way to becoming a regional leader in new technologies and production methods in the automotive and chemical industries and the production of elements for railway transport, which are the basis of a primarily environmentally oriented and sustainable future, especially in terms of e-mobility. Our results in attracting investments in these sectors, long industrial tradition, in addition to the necessary knowledge and capacities of scientific and educational institutions in Serbia and the presence of leading names and suppliers in all three sectors, map us as leaders in the Balkans in attracting investments in e-mobility and projects generating great added value.
Photo: Expo 2020 Serbia
The second Serbia Investment Conference in Dubai, which presented an overview of investment potentials and examples of good practice in the sector of rail vehicles, automotive and chemical industry, was opened by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development Branko Ružić.
Minister Ružić pointed out that in the last few years, Serbia has become a space where new innovative projects and solutions are being developed, research and development centers, science and technology parks and innovation centers are being established, and that such investments have no alternative. In addition, Serbia has a quality dual education system, which is an effective response to the needs of the economy and labor market, technological change, and the need for new competencies.
“More than 10,000 students are included the system of dual education while the number of dual educational profiles, which are shaped up in 150 secondary vocational schools, has grown to 54. More and more companies interested in doing business here demand a developed dual education system as a condition for their arrival. Their opting for Serbia as the country in which they want to expand the production process shows that the national model of dual education is going in the right direction," said the First Deputy Prime Minister, adding that he is convinced that today's presentation of Serbia's investment potential will attract new investors.
As a country with a proven track record of success in attracting foreign direct investment in the automotive sector, our country has become home to all the leading, so-called Tier-1, automotive suppliers in the past decade.
"Since we have thus completed the investment cycle and value chain in the traditional field of this sector, Serbia is ready to enter a new era of investments that bring the highest value, which is a combination of high technology and electric mobility. These concepts represent the foundations of the future of the automotive industry and aim to reduce emissions and create a sustainable transport industry," said Nemanja Jevtović, advisor for strategic investments at the Development Agency of Serbia (RAS).
Photo: Expo 2020 Serbia
Speaking about trends and opportunities for investments in the chemical industry, Dunja Vukčević, director of the Sector for Organized Industrial Zones at RAS, explains that the chemical industry is going through intensive periods of transformation at the global level and that to that end, Serbia makes best efforts to keep pace with the world.
"As the chemical industry has a significant role in the strategy of industrial decarbonization and is a strong partner of the automotive industry that is our focus, our goal is to attract investors who will recognize Serbia's strategic advantage, which is the concentration of knowledge coming from our universities and research institutes. These two industries are at the same time highly innovative and environmentally conscious industries with high added value of the final product in the chemical value chain", concluded Vukčević
Good examples of existing investments were presented at the investment conference including industrial parks which are also suitable for new investors – such as the unique MIND Park in Kragujevac and Elixir Group in Prahovo.
Ana Račić, Business Manager at Mind Group, says that the Investment Conference of Serbia at the Expo is an exceptional opportunity for MIND Park to present itself to a global audience and show the investment potential of Serbia through the prism of their industrial park.
"We are shaping the unique potential that we have as a state, the quality that we can offer when it comes to rail vehicles, aviation, high tech, or the IT industry, through projects that are recognized by the state," said Ana Račić.
Photo: Expo 2020 Serbia
The mayor of Kragujevac, Nikola Dašić, addressed the audience on behalf of the city, which, as he said, is the cradle of industry in the Balkans, known for its automotive industry. Today, Kragujevac in undergoing a shift in the industrial tradition, towards the rail and high-tech industry.
"Our country appears at the Expo under the slogan" Serbia creates ideas - Inspired by the past, creating the future", and Kragujevac is the best example of how a new heritage is created within the existing tradition. I can proudly say that today we are one of the leaders in innovation, digitalization, eGovernment, talents, and creativity," Dašić pointed out and called on investors to invest in Kragujevac and Serbia in general.
After the investment event, introductions were made and meetings were held with interested companies at the Pavilion of Serbia, and such activities are expected to continue in the coming days. The next investment conference will be held at the end of January 2022, during the theme week "Health and Wellness" at the Expo, and it will also be organized by the Development Agency of Serbia, the Government of Serbia, and the team for the realization of Serbia's appearance at Expo 2020 Dubai.