The municipality of Ruma (60,000 inhabitants) which is located close to Belgrade (50 km) and Novi Sad (35km) has just uploaded to Youtube a new promotional video. It’s a video very well done that shows why investors choose to invest in Ruma, and why more investors should invest in the municipality of Ruma. Great video! It’s the right time to invest in Serbia, and in the municipality of Ruma:
French automotive company Mecaplast, specialized in automotive industry, has opened a new factory in Zrenjanin (east of Belgrade). Over 10 million euro ($13.3 million) have been invested so far in the project, and the factory will employ 120 employees. This factory will produce plastic parts for automobiles mainly intended to the FIAT factory located in Kragujevac (central Serbia).
During the official ceremony of the factory opening, Mr Denio, French Ambassador to Serbia, said that “The opening of the Mecaplast factory in Zrenjanin once again confirmed that Serbia is attractive for foreign investments.”
Yes, it is.
Investing in Serbia is not a bad idea. U.S. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company chose to invest in Serbia for good reasons. U.S. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company announced a grand opening ceremony was held today at its recently acquired tire manufacturing facility in Kruševac, Serbia. Cooper Tire Serbia becomes Kruševac’s second-largest employer, providing tires for the European and Russian markets. At the ceremony, President and CEO Roy Armes said:
Cooper elected to invest in Serbia not only because of its significant economic potential, but also for its quality workforce, geographical advantages and Serbian government support.
Slovenia’s biggest household appliance maker Gorenje has recently launched its plastic sink plant, and washing machine assembly line in the Serbian town of Zaječar. This is Gorenje’s third manufacturing facility in Serbia.
Gorenje’s other facilities in Serbia include refrigeration appliances plant in Valjevo, water heater plant in Stara Pazova, sales company in Belgrade, and a network of 12 proprietary showrooms. The number of Gorenje employees at all Serbian locations combined is almost 1,200.
Back in 2008, I wrote about Ball Packaging Europe, the German-based subsidiary of the U.S. Ball Corporation, pointing out that “Ball Packaging Europe has been one of a few foreign investors that really understands how the Serbian investment climate has been changing, and has moved to take advantage of that.”
Ball Packaging Europe is now investing again in Serbia (35 million euro). Ball Packaging Europe added a new can-making line to its existing facility in Belgrade four days ago, doubling its output in Serbia designed for export markets.
Ongoing investment in technology development and production capacity, together with investment in human resources, has laid the foundation for the strong global results achieved by Ball, said John Hayes, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ball Corporation. The factory in Serbia has so far justified our investment. We hope we will continue to do business here successfully into the future.
“The plant in Zemun has previously achieved excellent results and features on the list of the most successful Ball factories in Europe”, said Gerrit Heske, President of Ball Packaging Europe.
I hope other foreign investors will follow the example of Ball Packaging Europe and continue/begin to invest in Serbia.
A few weeks back, we wrote about how Delta City shopping mall and Usce shopping center in Belgrade, brought a striking array of international retail names to the Serbian market. We noted that slowly, but surely, it looks like some international fashion brands are starting to figure it out: Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is a very interesting city with a lot of potential.
The latest example is Sergent Major, one of France’s biggest fashion store chains. Sergent Major dressed up children from 0 to 14 years old for more than 20 years. With 150 stores in France, the network Sergent Major continues its development in Serbia (Sergent Major has already a shop in Kragujevac) with a new opening in Belgrade. The first Sergent Major shop in Belgrade opened its doors on May 23, Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 94. Serbian Delta Fashion company is representing the brand Sergent Major in Serbia, and also in Montenegro. The first Sergent Major shop in Montenegro opened in Podgorica (October 2008) within the Delta City Shopping mall.
It seems that more international fashion brands are realizing that they can win a lot in the Serbian market. The main thing is that Serbia, as far as the region is concerned, plays a very important role. Serbia is not a small market, and Belgrade is not a small European capital. There is a huge potential because Serbian market is not fully distributed, so there is a lot of room for new foreign investors.
It seems that more companies are realizing that Serbian market has a huge potential because this market, especially the retail market, is under-serviced. Nearly two years ago, the third largest company in Serbia, Delta Holding, opened in Belgrade ‘Delta City‘, the largest shopping mall in the Balkans. Colliers nternational Serbia, as the exclusive leasing agent for the mall, achieved 100% leasing well before the opening and brought a striking array of international retail names to the Serbian market (30 out of the 120 brands present in the mall have entered the Serbian market for the first time with the opening of Delta City) including famous names like Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear, Mexx, Mango, Morgan, Max & Co, Intimissimi, Mothercare, Sephora, Coin Casa and Costa Coffee.
As you probably know, the new hot spot in Belgrade is no longer Delta City shopping mall. Usce Shopping Center in Belgrade opened its doors on March 31, becoming the largest shopping center in the Balkans.
Usce shopping center consists of a total built area of approx. 130,000 square meters and a leasable area of approx. 50,000 square meters. Visitors also have access to an Idea supermarket (4,000 square meters), height restaurants and six bars, as well as a new multiplex cinema with eleven screens. Apart from the brands already present in the Serbian market including Aldo, Springfield, Woman’ Secret, Mango, Cortefiel, Massimo Dutti, Benetton, Gant, Nara Camicie, and Time Out, Usce Shopping Center is introducing a dozen of new brands, such as Brown Shoes, Promod, Stiefelkoenig, Mandarina Duck, Big Bang, Tosca Blue, JLo (Jennifer Lopez), and prenatal. Also, Slovenian retail group Sportina is opening the largest luxury fashion multi-brand in Eastern Europe. Hugo Boss, D&G, Joop and Polo Ralph Lauren are the shop in shops with separate mens’ and womens’ shops. Other brands featured include Armani Collezioni, Iceberg, GF Ferre, Galliano, Versace Jeans Couture, Armani Jeans.
Slowly, but surely, it looks like some international retail names are starting to figure it out: Serbia is a very interesting market with a lot of potential. Of course, the Serbian market is not fully distributed, so there is a lot of room for new players and new investors.
Blic is running an article entitled “All indicators pointing at big crisis. Threat of bankruptcy over Serbia.” From the title, it’s pretty obvious what it’s about — but the article seems extremely one-sided. The article does just that: it assumes that Serbia is in recession, and only talks to one analyst, Vladimir Gligorov, an “expert” at the Vienna Institute for Economic Studies, who agree. Except, as we’ve seen repeatedly, there’s almost no evidence of Serbia being in recession. The article talks about ever increasing enterprises “faced with the threat of bankruptcy what means sacking of labor” despite the fact that folks who actually have the data have been noting that there are still no any significant changes in the labor market, even though the indications are that the employment rate will either stagnate or slightly drop. Then the article claims that getting foreign credits is difficult — even though when you talk to the actual economists at international organizations, they seem more than willing to admit that credits can be handled just fine with Serbia.
But, of course, instead of quoting those actual economists, the article focuses on the big analyst firms like the Vienna Institute for Economic Studies (WIIW) which are trying to sell research reports, and which make bigger headlines if they warn about Serbia’s impending problems. It’s a pretty weak report to simply assume away the actual evidence and then focus on what needs to be done based on the non-evidence.
Just a few weeks ago, we were talking about the sale of 70 percent stake of JRB, Serbian leading river shipping company, to the Austria-based company DDSG owned by Serbian businessman Zoran Drakulic. The company ranked first at the tender, offering the price of Euro 24.5 million and investments in the amount of Euro 15.7 million. Last month, the Tender Commission for the sale of JRB decided to start negotiations with Austria-based company DDSG. The Serbian Privatization Agency announced that it signed (February 9) the sales agreement on the sale of Yugoslavian River Shipping (JRB) to Austria-based DDSG owned by Zoran Drakulic, so it’s a done deal.