As a result of the growing interest of the Swiss business community in Serbia to improve Swiss-Serbian economic cooperation, the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce was officially registered as a non-profit Association in the Business Registers Agency, on March the 14th, 2014.
The official inauguration event took place on Thursday, April the 24th, 2014 at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Serbia, in presence of the President of the Swiss Confederation, H.E. Mr. Didier Burkhalter and the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, H. E. Mr. Aleksandar Vucic, gathering more than 150 private sector representatives, diplomats and business people.
On this occasion, Mr. Burkhalter described the establishment of the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce “as a sign of trust in Serbia’s future and contribution to stronger ties between the two countries“. “Today is a special moment in Swiss-Serbian relations because this opens an avenue to build better relations between our nations“, Burkhalter said at the ceremony.
In his address, Mr. Vucic pointed out that Serbia is a good place for investment, better than many countries in the region, and that the reforms will be carried out to improve a business environment. “In talks with Burkhalter, I have underlined that Serbia will become a better place for investment, that laws will be changed and everything that hindered private business, and I am convinced that we will have more Swiss investments in coming years“, Vucic said. Finally, he also stressed that the most important thing was to learn from Swiss friends how to be a responsible, serious and reliable partner.
The President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Serbia (PKS), Mr. Zeljko Sertic, said that Serbian exports to Switzerland increased by five times over the past 10 years, and that the setting up of the Swiss-Serbian chamber of commerce will further strengthen the two countries’ economic ties.
The export-import ratio rose from 11 to nearly 50 per cent over the period of ten years. He also pointed out that Serbia could follow the example of Switzerland in terms of the state governance, as well as the banking system, infrastructure and regional development.
One of the seven Founding Members of the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and Regional Director of the company “Nestle”, Mr. Ansgar Bornemann, pointed out that the purpose of SSCC establishment is to strengthen bilateral relations and connect entrepreneurs of the two countries.