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Global Companies are Looking for Suppliers From Serbia And The Region

Apr 17, 2024

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The "InterConnect" conference, held in Belgrade today, brought together representatives of 18 international and more than 80 domestic companies from the metal, rubber, plastic, and engineering industries in one place with the aim of introducing Serbian companies and companies from the region into supply chains of large European and global customers.

InterConnect is organized by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia and the company Convestensics, with the support of the "Big Small Business" Project funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA.
The "InterConnect" conference has grown into a unique platform that brings Serbian and Western Balkan companies closer to the European market in the most practical way and includes them in supply chains, said Mihailo Vesović, Director of the Sector for Strategic Analysis, Services, and Internationalization at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia. 

"Serbia and the Western Balkans must present themselves as a region that provides an answer to the question of who we will cooperate with and who will be part of our supplier chains, which are those reliable companies that will be able to deliver equipment and parts on time and at the right price for large customers, first of all for European customers, but also globally," said Vesović.

According to him, Serbian and regional companies, in addition to their tradition and experience, can provide foreign customers with technology, as well as speed and quality of goods delivery.
"In this way, we want to bring closer and bring down to the concrete terrain of business relations what is most important at the moment, which is to find the right place for the Serbian and regional economy within the European economy," said Vesović.

Christopher Hill, Ambassador of the United States of America to Serbia, says that the "InterConnect" conference provides the opportunity to connect Serbian companies from the machinery and equipment sector with companies from Europe interested in buying Serbian products.
"The fact is that Serbia will be part of the European Union, and the preparations for that are not only political but also economic. And this is not about politics, but about the fact that companies in the world want to shorten their supply chains and get everything they need for production from closer destinations. Serbia has a rich tradition in the mechanical industry and this initiative should inform foreign companies about Serbia's offer in that sector. "The most important job of the American Embassy in Belgrade and the American Agency for International Development (USAID) is to help Serbia become a part of the European Union," said Hill.

Matijas Loidold, director of the company Convestenics, says that today's event brought together suppliers and bidders in one place with a focus on the most important industrial sectors in Serbia, such as metal, mechanical, plastic, and rubber industries.
"When we gather suppliers and bidders together in one place, that is the best way for the economy in the region to function," Loidold pointed out.

Today, the conference gathered 18 international companies that are potential customers and that need to find suppliers and see an opportunity for that in this region. More than 200 B2B meetings with 85 companies from Serbia and the region are scheduled for today at the "Hilton" hotel.

Uwe Ackermann, vice president of the Procurement Department of PUREM (Germany), states that they are participating for the second time at "InterConnect" in Belgrade. He explains that "Purem" employs more than 10,000 workers and has an annual turnover of over 6.5 billion euros.
"The forum is an exceptional opportunity to maintain previously established contacts and create new ones with companies and suppliers, and an opportunity to expand our cooperation to other suppliers and achieve even better cooperation in Serbia."

Zoran Novaković, from the company "TPV Šumadija" states that they participated in "InterConnect" last year too when they connected as suppliers with partners from abroad, and he expects to make new contacts and agree on business cooperation at this year's event.

Vlastimir Vuković, president of the Executive Board of NLB Komercijalna Banka, says that small and medium-sized enterprises are the "heart and essence" of the economy of every country, stressing the importance of social responsibility of all companies and investments in the green transformation of the economy.



The "InterConnect" conference lasts for two days, and for tomorrow, visits by representatives of international companies to domestic companies throughout Serbia are planned.

Photo: Dragan Kujundzić

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