The accelerated economic growth in Serbia requires much larger amount of the direct foreign investments than in the first half of the year. Therefore, great hopes are laid with the announced investments from the UAE. Besides the already agreed works in agriculture, the investments in other sectors could be very significant, especially in high technologies, such as the construction of the chip factory.
When the contract worth 400 million dollars was signed with the Al Dahra company few months ago, the door was opened for other enterprises from the UAE as well. The agreement on investments in the Serbian agriculture envisages that bit more than 100 million dollars will buy eight bankrupt agrarian cooperatives, while the rest is aimed at the construction of the irrigation systems and setting up five cattle feed plants. Al Dahra has also earmarked 20-40 million for the additional capitalization of the “Yugoslav river fleet”, in order to enable the exports of the agrarian products. For the same purpose, this company has bough 43 hectares of land in Pancevo, where the construction of a river port is planned, and the job is worth 5.5 million dollars.
After the formation of the joint company Air Serbia, in which the Serbian Government and the company Etihad have invested the total of 200 million dollars, the construction of a factory is also planned, to manufacture aircraft components. It should enable the engagement of many national enterprises as component makers, and also open the perspective of cooperation with big international companies, such as Boeing and Airbus.
According to Bozidar Laganin, the director of the Serbian Investment and Export Promotion Agency, this fall the government will open the negotiations with companies from the UAE about new investments, among which most significant is the one from the Mubadala company, regarding the factory of electronic chips. The first phase of that project should entail the investment of 400 million euros, for the establishing of the research center, and then a larger amount in the construction of the factory. It is estimated that the total amount of investments may surpass three billion dollars, while 4,500 new working places would be opened. It should be the compound unlike any other in Europe, and similar to the one in Silicone Valley in the USA, and in the Far East. It would rank Serbia among the leading countries in the IT industry area, thus helping the GDP growth and the increased inflow of foreign currency on the basis of exports.
The cooperation with companies from the Emirates does not end here, since there is also interest in the tourism sector. The first step has been made with the sale of the “Jugobanka” hotel on the Mt Kopaonik to sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed, and more investments in the capacities on that mountain are also announced. It seems that the financial sector is following the newly established cooperation of the two countries, because the Serbian National Bank is negotiating with the Royal Group about the opening of their bank in Serbia, which would represent the additional support to the realization of many projects. If these ambitious plans are realized, Serbia might soon gain the accelerated economic growth and significant development. Radio Srbija