The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK) conducted the 12th annual survey on the economic environment in Serbia among its member companies, with the results of the 2017 survey showing the optimism of German-Serbian companies and a positive assessment of the economic climate in Serbia, writes CorD Magazin in its 2017 May issue.
The results of the 2017 AHK survey show that the assessment of the economic situation in Serbia in 2017 is slightly improved compared to the previous year. While more than 50 per cent of respondents rated the economic situation as bad in last year’s survey, this year nearly half of them say that it is satisfactory, while 14 per cent of respondents even assess it as good. However, nine per cent of respondents do not see an improvement and believe that the economic situation in Serbia could worsen compared to 2016.
It is important to note that companies assess their own operations as being better than the general economic climate. More than half of respondents assessed their own operations as good, 45 per cent said it was satisfactory, while only two per cent said that their operations were not good enough. Forecasts for the current business year are also slightly more optimistic than in 2016, such that 62 per cent of respondents expect an improvement, 30 per cent expect the business situation to remain unchanged and eight per cent fear its deterioration.
When it comes to the development of operations and additional hiring in 2017, 39 per cent of surveyed companies do not plan to increase their staff, 48 per cent believe that they will take on new personnel, while 13 per cent announced possible downsizing.
On the issue of new investments during 2017, 48 per cent of those surveyed plan to increase investments, while 11 per cent announced reductions in their investments.
How about Vojvodina?
When it comes to the amount of investments made in Vojvodina, Germany tops the list of countries. According to the data of Vojvodina Development Agency (RAV), Vojvodina today boasts around 320 foreign companies, 42 of which come from Germany. They have so far invested more than billion Euros and employed more than 15,000 people. The list of companies includes, among others, Siemens, Henkel, Dr Oetker, ThyssenKrupp, Dunkermotoren, Stada and Fresenius Medical Care...
Most German companies on the territory of Vojvodina provide support to the automotive industry. The list of companies includes Bosch GmbH, DAD Draexlmaier, Norma Group, Continental AG and others. Apart from German companies, there are French Le Belier, Mecaplast Group and Streit Groupe, Canadian-Austrian Magna Seating, Czech CGS Tyres, British Albon Engineering, Italian Lames and others.
German I.G. Bauerhin GmbH, manufacturer of seat heaters, also operates in Vojvodina. The first production facility was opened in September 2007. That year, 133 people were employed and 100,000 seat heaters were produced.
Today IGB is among the best employers in Vojvodina, producing car seat heaters, safety belt sensors and cables in its production facility in Inđija. They have more than 2,200 workers and produces more than 20,000,000 products a year. The products are meant for renowned car industry clients such as VW, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Skoda, Opel, Nissan and others. In early 2017, they opened a new facility in Indjija, in which EUR 4.5 million had been invested.