Jun

Business » Biznis | 23 Čadež notes that great new opportunities are opening up for this region that we mustn’t miss out on. You recently announced a more aggressive approach of the Western Balkans in the race to entice foreign investment. What are you planning; how can this region’s economies attract the most investors from around the world as possible? “We can only utilise the opportunity to attract new foreign investments in the best way if we work together, performing as one region - one economy, as a common regional market and a single investment destination. Individually we are small, but as a region we have great potential, aremore attractive to foreign investors andwhen unitedwe canmore easily engage in the supply chains of global companies and better respond to the demands of customers around the world for our products.That’swhywe formed theWB6CIF Investment andTrade PromotionUnit within the scope of the joint regional chamber.” Where can potential investors and partners from around the world expect to see Western Balkan companies this year? “Wewill present ourselves jointly at important business events, fromBerlin via Dubai to Shanghai. At the world expo event Dubai Expo2020, companies fromacross the region, from all sectors - from agriculture, food and energy, via the manufacturing/processing industries, to tourism and IT - will have access to space for presenting themselves and networkingwith companies from 190 participating countries in the Dubai South Free Zone, fromOctober to the end of March. In the autumn we’ll appear jointly at one of the world’s largest fairs, China International Import Expo CIIE 2021, and we are also planning an investment conference in Germany similar to the one we organised in London with the Financial Times before the pandemic.” In the meantime, preparations are underway for June’s Summit on the Western Balkans in Berlin? “Yes, within the scope of the business forum, we will launch a new, regional online platform intended, in the first phase, for companies from the food, automotive, light industry and circular economy sectors, formutual connections and networking with large regional companies and companies from around the world. An integral part of this platform will be a database of suppliers from the Western Balkans that will be useful to foreign companies seeking partners in the Western Balkans.” What can Serbia, as the Western Balkans’ largest economy, which has for years attracted more than half of all foreign investments in the region, currently offer foreign companies? “First and foremost securityand stability, preserved even under the most difficult circumstances during the pandemic in a way that few investment destinations around the world can boast of having achieved, viewed inboththemediumand long term, with better prospects than most comparable economies. And open borders for businesspeople from all over the world, who are able to enter Serbia during the pandemic with fewer formalities than other travellers. And special benefits for investing in high-tech sectors, research, development and innovation, asastrategicdevelopment direction of the Serbian economy.” What can investors who decide to invest their capital here count on? “That theywill launchtheir business more simply, acquire building permits faster, andfind it easier and cheaper todobusiness than inmany competing locations. Here theywill have lower operating costs, an entire package of financial incentives - tax and customs breaks, state subsidies, local government incentives, more functional infrastructure and the shortest routes for transporting goods alongEuropeancorridors. Investors in Serbia can also count on the local economy: reliable domestic companies capable of joining the supply chains of multinational companies and satisfying the standards of the most complex markets and the most demanding consumers. Our special trump card in the race for investors are our people, a high-quality and available workforce. And in the end, or at the beginning of everything, there’s no better recommendationtofuture investors than the experiences of the almost 20,000 foreign companies that are present here, whichoperate successfully in Serbia and expand their business from year to year.” I’m convinced that nothing will contribute as much to the improving of the business climate, the recovery and growth of our economies and the greater inflow of foreign investment in theWestern Balkans as economic integration and the building of a joint regional market with almost 20million consumers

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