• Serbia

    Serbia

    DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES

    The 1990s, after the introduction of multiparty democracy in Serbia, were marked by economic sanctions and wars. Since 2001, despite heightened political instability, the country has undergone major economic changes on its transition to a market economy and has made remarkable progress on wide-ranging reforms. Serbia recently graduated from “lower-middle” to “upper-middle” income status, with GNI per capita increasing from US$3,800 in 2006 to US$5,810 in 2010. The country also has a “high” Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.766 and is ranked 59th of 187 countries. Between 2001 and 2009, the Serbian economy grew by about 5% annually. However, the economy suffered a GDP contraction of 3.5% in 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis, with exports decreasing by 23.8% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2009. The country is recovering very slowly, with a 1% increase in GDP in 2010, but still faces development challenges.

    • Poverty and inequality
    • High unemployment
    • Skills gap
    • Weak governance and corruption

    KEY TRADE ISSUES

    • Growing trade deficit
    • Market concentration and WTO accession
    • Limited access to finance
    • Underdeveloped transport and energy infrastructure
    • Cumbersome business environment

    GOVERNMENT PRIORITIES

    Advancing EU integration, accession and then membership remains Serbia’s fundamental strategic-political aspiration. A Stabilization and Association Agreement was endorsed and signed in 2008.

    The National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS), adopted in 2008, is a comprehensive framework for addressing the main areas of economic and social development by 2017. The key national priorities are to:

    • Obtain membership of the EU;
    • Develop a competitive market economy and balanced economic growth, promote innovations, establish better links between science, technology and entrepreneurship, and increase capacities for research and development, including new information and communication technologies;
    • Develop human resources, increase employment and social inclusion, generate increased new employment, attract experts, enhance the quality and adjustability of the labour force, and increase investment in human resources;
    • Develop infrastructure and balanced regional development, enhance the attractiveness of the country, and provide adequate quality and levels of services; and
    • Protect and promote the environment and achieve rational use of natural resources, preserve and enhance the system of environmental protection, reduce pollution and environmental pressure, and use natural resources in a manner ensuring their availability for future generations.

    More detailed information on Serbia can be found here.

    Trade and Tariff Graphs

    Graphs of the country’s export markets, its export performance in a key sector and tariffs exporters of a sample product face.
    Trademap sample Trademap sample: The map uses color codes to illustrate the relative size of different markets in the overall exports of the country shown in pink.
    Trademap sample Trademap sample: The vertical axis shows import values by key importing countries, while the horizontal axis shows export values by the country for the same sector. I.e. the country has gained market share in the case of an importing country at the bottom right of chart and lost market share for countries top left. The size of circles is proportional to market size.
    Market access map sample Market access map sample: The world map shows trade values and tariff levels for a key export product by importing countries. Color codes indicate protection levels. Red circles denote trade volumes.

    Trade and Investment Data

    Detailed data on the country’s export performance, key imports and foreign investment, grouped by product and service categories (HS and BOP).

    Trade Information Sources

    A listing of country specific print and online publications on trade related topics. Includes information from both ITC and external sources.

    Trade Contacts

    The most important trade contacts, including importers’ and exporters’ associations, trade support institutions, trade promotion organizations and institutions providing business development assistance.