Deloitte launched guide for investing in Serbia
The first visa-free European country for Chinese
Deloitte Global Chinese Services Group launched the Guide for Investing in Serbia, which aims to decode Serbia's business environment and investment considerations.
In 2015, Serbia attracted EUR 1.8 billion of foreign direct investments, becoming the top 5 host transition economy, and the best performer in the Southeast Europe. Serving as the economic and communication hub along the route linking Europe and Asia, Serbia is becoming increasingly attractive to global investors such as FIAT, Microsoft, Coca-Cola and Michelin.
Serbian infrastructure, electric power, food, telecom and automotive sectors are in particular attracting attentions from Chinese investors. In 2016, China National Electric Engineering Co. (CNEEC) signed a contract worth EUR 230 million on building a power plant in Serbia. In addition to that, a EUR 302 million section of the Corridor 11 Highway in Serbia is already under construction by Shandong Hi-Speed Group Co. In terms of metalwork industry, Chinese steel producer Hesteel started to cooperate with Serbia's Smederevo steel mill in 2016 to enhance production capabilities in steel sub-sector in Serbia.
2017 Jan 15th, China-Serbia visa-free regime took effect, which makes Serbia the first country in Central and Eastern Europe to waive the visa requirement for Chinese. Since then, Serbia has attracted accelerating interest from Chinese tourists and entrepreneurs in this market.
Deloitte Global Chinese Services Group has composed this investment guide to share with Chinese investors the basic knowledge of Serbia and specific details including the following parts:
- Country profile
- Tax legislation
- State business incentives
- Other relevant legislation
Serbia enjoys ideal natural conditions for agricultural products and therefore is the biggest exporter in food industry among CEFTA (Central European Free Trade Agreement) countries. Favorable agricultural resources and reliable infrastructure attracted world large food processors, such as Nestle, Rauch and PepsiCo, to set up production lines in Serbia.
With a particularly strong engineering education background and advantageous geographical location, Serbia features its automotive industry as the most important industrial sector. Almost all major European and some Asian car manufacturers choose Serbian automotive companies as suppliers.
Information and communications technology industry in Serbia is rising to be a new pillar of the nation's economy. Equipped with highly-qualified and multilingual workforce, sound telecommunication and ICT infrastructure system, Serbia is aiming to become an alternative to more traditional ICT markets.
Serbian government is implementing favourable and continuous incentive packages with the aim to attract more investment. State grants are provided for Greenfield and Brownfield projects in manufacturing and internationally marketable services. Considerable subsidies ranging from 17% to 70% of eligible investment costs are also provided depending on the value of the investment and the number of new jobs created. Furthermore, 14 free zones are established in Serbia where business activities are performed with a preferential customs treatment, tax relief and simplified administrative procedures.