The Netherlands is the biggest investor in Serbia

Total trade with the Netherlands in 2020 amounted to 784.6 million euro, which is a 4% growth compared to 2019.

Trade between the Republic of Serbia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands is carried out in several economic sectors – agriculture, metal processing industry, renewable energy sources and the IT sector. Agriculture is of special importance for the economic development of Serbia. Its position is valuable because it is not only the driving force behind rural development, but it also has great economic, social and ecological significance. The fact that the European Union enters the final phase of shaping the single market, which vision, in basic outlines, was announced more than five decades ago, carries great importance for Serbia.

Projects related to the creation of a single market contain a complex set of measures at the institutional, economic, technological and organizational level, and for Serbia, the EU represents a potential market of about 500 million consumers who are ready to spend almost a quarter of their earnings on food. Cooperation in the field of agriculture is especially promising. Agriculture is one of the areas where cooperation between Serbia and the Netherlands could be much more intensive, since the Netherlands, although a small country, is the second-largest exporter of agricultural products in the world, right after the United States.

According to the data of the Serbian Bureau of Statistics, the total trade with the Netherlands in 2020 amounted to 784.6 million euro, a 4% growth compared to 2019 (755.5 million euro). Serbian exports to the Netherlands fell by 2% compared to 2019 and amounted to 368.2 million euro. In trading with the Netherlands, Serbia has recorded a deficit of 48.2 million euro. The export to import ratio is 88.4%. The total trade in goods with the Netherlands in 2019 was valued at 755.5 million euro, which was an 11% growth relative to 2018 (682.5 million euro). In that period, our exports increased by 16% compared to 2018 and amounted to 376.3 million euro. That year, Serbia still recorded a deficit in trading with the Netherlands which stood at 2.9 million euro. The import to export ratio was 99.2%.

Serbia mostly exported the following products to the Netherlands in the Q1 of 2021 – circulating pumps for heating systems; ships and vessels for the transport of goods and passengers; frozen raspberries without added sugar; protein concentrates without milk fats; parts and accessories for motor vehicles (8701-8705); liquid pump parts and finished textile products. Serbia mostly imported the following products from the Netherlands in the first quarter of 2021 – medicines for retail sale; polyether alcohols in primary forms; road tractors for semi-trailers, pork, styrene and onion bulbs, fresh or chilled.

Based on the data collated by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia – Customs Administration, by 2020, 3,673 companies from Serbia did business with the Netherlands. According to the data from the Agency for Business Registers of the Republic of Serbia, 485 active companies, which are majority-owned by the Dutch citizens, i.e. legal entities registered in the Netherlands, are registered in Serbia.

There are numerous initiatives from both the Dutch and Serbian sides for further improvement of economic cooperation, through collaboration and investments in the food industry, chemical industry (production of drugs and plastic materials and plastic products), production of construction materials, wood industry and furniture production, machinery and metal industry, transport and logistics (transport of goods and passengers), textile industry and high technologies (especially in the field of services), where the two countries have already established good relations which now need to be further developed with the aim of joint entry into third markets, i.e. with an emphasis on programming services in production processes, transport and automotive industry.

The total net investments made by Dutch companies in Serbia in the period 2010-2020 amounted to 4.1 billion euro, which makes the Netherlands the no 1 foreign investor in Serbia. In 2019, the largest total net investments made by Dutch companies in Serbia amounted to 707 million euro. In order to attract even more investments from the Netherlands, Serbia needs to work on promoting its economy and economic potentials through various seminars and workshops in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce of the Netherlands.

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