Boško Vučurević, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Vojvodina: The Economy Cannot Wait

Cancelled business forums and trade fairs are in the past. That’s all behind us now, as we are now focusing on the future and continuing to hold online conferences in anticipation of a better health situation.


As someone who has been in the economy all his life, I know how important it is to enable business activities in any way possible, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises, despite the current conditions. We, as the Chamber of Commerce of Vojvodina, are here to support our business people and the market. Through daily contacts, we are solving problems stemming from linking companies and meeting market needs.

Boško Vučurević, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Vojvodina

 What was the most difficult thing for you to handle, as a person who helms an important institution, as you watched the heavy impact that the pandemic has had on the economy?


I would have to say business people from Vojvodina not being able to meet with their counterparts from Slovakia, Austria, Romania, Hungary, the Russian Federation, Morocco and Tunisia, me not meeting with the President of the Paris Chamber of Commerce, and Vojvodina not having the opportunity to present itself in Frankfurt. These are just some of the forums where business people were supposed to meet and discuss how to improve business. Instead of that, we are now talking about the consequences of COVID-19 and how to help the economy with recovery. This is the most difficult thing for me, but it is also our priority now. We have swiftly joined as a single chamber system to help businesses with defining their demands which subsequently shaped the adopted economic policy measures.


Cancelled business forums and trade fairs are in the past. That’s all behind us now, as we are now focusing on the future and continuing to hold online conferences in anticipation of a better health situation.


We have had a series of online conferences in the past three months. These were great meetings in the online world with our colleagues from the Russian region of Samara (I also signed an online cooperation agreement with the president of the Samara Chamber). We also talked about the consequences of the pandemic with colleagues from the chambers of the Republic of Srpska, Szeged, Timisoara, Maribor and the Greek-Serbian Chamber of Thessaloniki. We had a successful online conference with colleagues from the Nizhny Novgorod Chamber. Apart from us, the conference, held in the premises of our Chamber, was attended by the representatives of companies which export to Russia, as well as the director of the trade representation of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Serbia, Andrei Khripunov. We have all been facing the same problem during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are also aware that the economy, despite everything, must not stop and that we must support our businesses now, more than ever.


Are the economic trend indicators in Vojvodina worrying?


On the contrary! In the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, in the first nine months of this year, industrial production recorded a 4.7% growth year-on-year. Production volume increased in the manufacturing sector by 4.9%. The total value of Vojvodina’s agricultural exports stood at about 1.5 billion euro, which is a 9.9% increase relative to the same period last year. This shows us that, despite the coronavirus pandemic, our agriculture is not stagnant, but that its results are improving.


The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted our focus to working from home and new ways of doing business.


Due to this pandemic, activities involving large gatherings, trade fairs and meetings have been significantly reduced since March. In the previous seven months alone, over 70 events in which we planned to participate were cancelled. Most of them were appearances at foreign trade fairs and meetings with other business people. Such dynamic was replaced with online conferences, which we have been successfully organizing. We have been very actively adapting to the given circumstances and we are continuing to support our business people.

Despite the pandemic, businesses are continuing to implement new projects. 


We are especially glad that, in these circumstances, some of our members came out with new development projects and that we have been contributing a lot to their implementation.


On November 10th, we held a big online Regional Business Forum. Although it took place online, this third Regional Business Forum gathered about 200 participants. This year, companies from agriculture and food industry, construction industry, information and communication technology and creative industry expressed their interest in participating in the Forum because it provided an opportunity to exchange experiences and conclude business agreements. The economy cannot wait – that is our message for next year. We are going to act in accordance with the epidemiological situation and continue to be at the service of our businesses with the view of helping them to respond to market demands.

A contract signed with the Chamber of Commerce of Samara


At the online conference held by the Chamber of Commerce of Vojvodina (CCV) and Chamber of Commerce of the Samara region, the President of the CCV, Boško Vučurević and President of the Chamber of Commerce of Samara, Valeri Fomichev, signed a cooperation agreement which opens up the opportunities for cooperation between businesses from these two regions. In the first seven months of this year, Vojvodina’s trade with the Russian Federation amounted to 658.1 million euro, with the value of export alone standing at 178.2 million euro. The Chamber of Commerce of Vojvodina has been developing cooperation with the Russian Federation, as evidenced by numerous signed agreements with other chambers of commerce such as the chambers of the Vladimir region, Podolsk, Kuzbass and the chambers of the Nizhny Novgorod region.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.