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In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Serbia | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities


FDI in Figures

In a context where global foreign investment increased by 10.9% in 2013, in particular in Europe (+25.2%) and in Latin America (+17.5%), FDI flows to developing economies reached a new high of US$759 billion. However macroeconomic fragility and policy uncertainties are driving investors to caution.

As a result of the reforms that were established in 2001, Serbia has attracted foreign investments notably in the banking and financial sectors. They have become an important factor in the national economy, up to the point that they have helped to reduce the deficit on foreign trade. Still, the FDI levels remain insufficient and in decline (less than USD 700 million in 2013). Austria, Italy and Norway remained among the country's main investors in 2013. The European Union countries represent over 70% of the investors in Serbia.

Information on the 2013 FDI influx in this region can be accessed in the Global Investment Trade Monitor published in January 2014 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Serbia Eastern Europe & Central Asia United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 7.0 7.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 6.0 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 6.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 5.3 5.9 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 2,7093651,034
FDI Stock (million USD) 24,67526,01429,269
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 50--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 64--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 109112118
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 33.55.313.6
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 56.467.668.8

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Serbia

Strong Points
Serbia has the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe (10%). In addition, Serbia is a country whose economy is in full expansion and it is showing a real desire to reform. Serbia's human capital is also interesting for foreign investors because the workforce is very young compared to the rest of Europe. In addition, the workforce is very well trained: Almost half of the Serbian population speak English fluently.
Weak Points
The political risk is still high compared with other countries in the area, which may discourage foreign investors. Moreover, cumbersome procedures for setting up a business in Serbia remain problematic and discouraging. Finally, the deficit of the balance trade remains a problem for the country's economy.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
The Serbian government has established a series of measures aimed to attract foreign capital:
- Between 2,000 to 10,000 Euros are granted to investors creating new jobs in the fields of research and development, production and services;
- Agreements have taken place with different countries to avoid double taxation;
- In certain cases, the government has set up exemptions of social charges;
- A part of imports are not subject to custom duties;
- Fixed charges for companies are relatively low.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Anybody can start a business or invest in Serbia.
Acquisition of Holdings
A foreign investor can own 100% of the shares in a Serbian company.
Obligation to Declare
An authorization is necessary to create a company in the following fields : health, pharmacy, veterinary products and services, transport, arms and munitions, insurance, bankruptcy management.

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Serbia on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Serbia
Globaltenders, Tenders & Projects from Serbia
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
Doing business in Serbia

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Learn more about Investing in Serbia on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014