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Styrian Businessmen are Looking for New Partners in Serbia

Jun 10, 2022

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In the upcoming period, the focus of cooperation between the Serbian and Austrian economies will be on joint projects in the field of dual education, new partnerships in the field of "green" transformation and energy transition of the domestic economy, and strengthening the region's infrastructure ties with the EU, it was pointed out at the Business Forum between Styria and Serbia.

In order to further strengthen supply chains in the region, which is especially important in the context of global crises, Austrian businessmen are interested in new investments, establishing companies in Serbia, and establishing a new cargo railway line between Serbia and Austria via Zagreb and Graz.

"Serbia is becoming more and more interesting for Austrian and other European companies that are thinking about the future of their supply chains, that is, they want to have their suppliers much closer, which is cheaper and safer." "Serbia and the Western Balkans are a strategically important point in Europe," said Mihailo Vesovic, director of the Sector for Strategic Analysis, Services and Internationalization of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia.

Herbert Ritter, Vice President of the Styrian Chamber of Commerce, which brings together 80,000 companies, said it was important for the Austrian economy to become more independent of distant supply chains so that it could continue to grow and trade. In this sense, cargo transport between Serbia and Austria is important for the further growth of mutual trade.

"The current connection via Budapest is overstretched and that is why it is necessary to establish a new traffic connection between Serbia and Austria," Ritter said.

Austria is among the 15 most important foreign trade partners of Serbia when it comes to trade in goods and among the 10 most important trade partners when it comes to trade in services, said Stevan Nikčević, State Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications.
"As many as 400 Austrian companies have a representative office and are active in Serbia. They employ as many as 22,000 people," said Nikčević.

In 2021, the foreign trade between the two countries amounted to 1.36 billion euros, which is an increase of about 28 percent compared to 2020. According to Nikčević, only last year, 154 million euros of investments from Austria were recorded, mostly in the telecommunications sector.

Erika Teoman-Brenner, the economic advisor at the Trade Department of the Austrian Embassy in Belgrade, points out that trade between Serbia and Austria is becoming more balanced, while Barbara Abinger-Middle, Minister of Economy of Styria pointed out the importance of business cooperation, good cooperation between universities and in the sphere of culture.

Within the business forum, the economic potentials of Serbia and Styria were presented, the professional symposium "Green Energy Day" was held and B2B meetings between companies from Serbia and the Austrian province in the field of IT, and logistics, potential suppliers of Austrian companies in our country. offers of Styria.

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