Council of European Business Associations and Chambers in Serbia

European business organisations in Serbia join forces to form the Council of European Business Association and Chambers in Serbia

Today marks a significant milestone in EU-Serbia business and trade relations as thirteen European chambers of commerce and business associations in Serbia signed a Memorandum of Understanding, officially establishing the Council of European Business Association and Chambers in Serbia. The Council brings together over 2000 companies from sixteen European countries in Serbia.

The signing was witnessed by Commissioner Varheyli and Minister of European Integration Tanja Miscevic, who were joined by the Ambassadors of the signatory countries and the EU Ambassador.

The organisations establishing the Council committed to working together to support the improvement of the business environment, help make Serbia a more attractive investment destination, supporting Serbian companies to do business with EU partners and enhancing overall EU-Serbia trade relations.

Commenting on the launch, Commissioner Varheyli stated, “EU companies are part of Serbia’s economic DNA. The establishment of the Council of European Business Association and Chambers in Serbia represents a significant step forward in strengthening “Team Europe’ and advancing our shared economic interests, which is to see Serbia grow its economy, increase the standard of living for citizens and advance on its path to become an EU member state. The private sector plays a key role in helping to achieve this mission”.

The EU is Serbia’s most important trading partner, accounting for 63% of Serbia’s total exports and almost 57% of imports in 2023. EU-Serbia trade in goods reached EUR 40 billion last year. Serbia’s exports to the EU increased six fold over the previous 15 years, jumping from EUR 3.2 billion in 2009 to over EUR 18 billion in 2023. EU companies have invested ca. EUR 20.5 billion between 2010-2022, over 60% of all foreign direct investments.

The launch of the Council comes at a moment at which Serbia continues to make important progress in strengthening its economy. Minister of EU Integration, Tanja Miscevic, stated, …..

The launch of the initiative coincides with the introduction of the New Growth Plan for the Western Balkans, a comprehensive initiative aimed at accelerating EU integration and unlocking growth potential in the region. Through strategic reforms and accelerated access to the EU Single Market, as well as the development of the common regional market, the plan aims to double the region’s economy over the next decade.
Commenting on the New Growth Plan, Commission Varheyli stated that the Plan offers to bring the region closer to the EU Single Market, deepen regional economic integration and accelerate fundamental reforms. “It will unlock the region’s and Serbia’s growth potential, doubling GDP of the next decade, and close the convergence gap as quickly as possible.”

Looking ahead, representatives of the newly founded Council, stated “The launch of the European Council of Business Associations and Chambers of Commerce signals a new step in the partnership between European investors and Serbia. This new organisation brings together over 2000 European and Serbian companies, united in one goal: help create the conditions to drive growth and prosperity in Serbia. We look forward to using the collective expertise and resources of European and Serbian businesses to help achieve this.”