RE-SET SUMMIT 2020: ECONOMY TRENDS AND INVESTMENT CLIMATE
In the last few years, Serbia gives a priority to capital intensive investments, and that is one of the priorities of the Government of the Republic of Serbia along with and complementary with focus on innovation, investing in innovation and high-tech industry, digitalization, and research and development, stated director of the Development Agency of Serbia Mr. Radoš Gazdić at the RE-SET SUMMIT 2020.
At the recent RE-SET SUMMIT 2020 dedicated to the economy, a conference organized by Adria Media Group, Acting Director of the Development Agency of Serbia (RAS), Mr. Radoš Gazdić was one of the panelists. The panel discussion entitled „Economic Growth – domestic and foreign investments“ focused on current economic trends and investment climate in Serbia.
Besides Mr. Gazdić, panelists were Mrs. Katarina Obradović Jovanović, Assistant Minister (Ministry of Economy), Mr. Sasha Cioringa General Manager Continental Automotive Serbia, and Mr. Andrija Vuković, the Group Chief Financial Officer at MK Group.
Director RAS gave an overview of the Agency’s activities and support it gives to the investment projects, domestic and foreign ones. He explained how at the beginning of the last decade investors who came to Serbia were mainly from technologically lower branches, which was expected because, as a country, we operated with almost 25 percent of the unemployed. At that period the goal was to attract investments that will employ a large number of people - up to 2,000 in just a year or two. Nowadays, things have changed, fortunately for us, he adds.
"We are now attracting investments of a higher technological level, but also companies that decide to run their R&D activities and centers at Serbian sight, which we could not have expected before. Simply put, we are now positioning ourselves as a country that provides more intelligence than manual work competencies," Gazdić said.
Sasha Cioringa, GM of Continental Automotive Serbia, pointed out the fact that not all investors are looking for cheap labor, but that his company chose Serbia from as many as 30 candidates - countries precisely because of quality engineers, skilled labor, IT and the computer sector whose workers originating from Serbia, are highly valued in the world. He emphasized that he needed innovation and education to make completely new, complex, and expensive products that will be sold all over the world.
Right now, as he mentions, with engineers in Serbia they are working on innovations in the automotive industry, such as an automatic truck - a truck without a driver.
"It is a great thing that we have a complete and complex product that comes from Serbia, that it says Made in Serbia, it is a completely different value for the Serbian economy… Serbia has a great advantage when it comes to the future because the future needs innovation, and one of our Serbian engineer, devised an innovative technology that will bring a revolution in the industry. And as a company, we received two awards in the field of artificial intelligence," said Cioringa.
Andrija Vukovic, who represents a large domestic company (MK Group) company that operates within three important sectors - banking, agriculture, and tourism, said that in the coming period, domestic businesses should invest in Serbia and be the leading investors in the country. Moreover, his company will invest 30 million euros in domestic agriculture as well as in the biogas plant, as well as in tourism - specifically, Kopaonik where 30 million euros will be invested in the renovation of accommodation facilities, but also the enrichment of content and further development of the destination. Despite the virus and the crisis, we see the potential for further growth - he added.
From the Ministry of Economy, Mrs. Katarina Obradović Jovanović said that this period is an opportunity to encourage the domestic SME sector to connect with large companies and investors and create new paths of the supply chains. She added, that Ministry and the Government give support to the SME sector, and it will continue to support it as it is the backbone of the economy.
The RE-SET SUMMIT 2020 is the conference including several separated segments, such as Economy, Education, and Healthcare which will be held until 27th November 2020. It is a sort of public dialogue about the new directions of action to reach sustainable economic growth focusing on human capital as the engine of a sustainable future, creating a new generation of economy, education, and health.
RE-SET ECONOMY is held from 16 to 20 November, and covers topics dealing with Regional connection, Green Economy, Economic Growth, Digitalization, and Tourism.