Economy of Serbia

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Economy of Serbia
New Belgrade.jpg
Currency Serbian dinar (RSD)
Calendar year
Trade organisations
CEFTA, BSEC
Statistics
GDP

Increase$90.746 billion (2014, PPP)[1]

Increase$52.648 billion (2014, Nominal)[1]
GDP rank 87th (nominal) / 81st (PPP)
GDP growth
Increase2.6% (2013)[2]
GDP per capita

Increase$12,605(2014, PPP)[1]

Increase$5,924 (2014, Nominal)[1]
GDP by sector
agriculture: 7.9%
industry: 31.8%
services: 60.3% (2013 est.)[2]
positive decrease2.2% (2013)[2][3]
Population below poverty line
9.1% (2013 est.)[2]
negative increase38 (2013 est.)[2][4]
Labour force
1.703 million (2013 est.)
(excluding Kosovo)[2]
Labour force by occupation
agriculture: 23.9%
industry: 16.5%
services: 59.6% (2013 est.)[2]
Unemployment positive decrease20.1% (2013 est.)[2][5]
positive decrease17.6% (Q3 2014)[6]
Average gross salary
Decrease61,693 RSD monthly (October 2014)[7]
$654 monthly (October 2014)[7]
Decrease44,938 RSD monthly (October 2014)[7]
$468 monthly (October 2014)[7]
Main industries
motor vehicle, base metals, furniture, food processing, machinery, chemicals, sugar, tires, clothes, pharmaceuticals
93rd (2014)[8]
External
Exports Increase$14.61 billion (2013)[9]
Export goods
motor vehicles ($2.18bn), electrical machines ($1.12bn), fruit and vegetables ($0.67bn), cereals ($0.66bn) and non-ferrous metals ($0.65bn),
Main export partners
 Italy $2.38bn
 Germany $1.74bn
 Bosnia and Herzegovina $1.18bn
 Russia $1.06bn
 Montenegro $0.83bn (2013)[9]
Imports Increase$20.54 billion (2013)[9]
Import goods
vehicles ($2.49bn), oil ($1.94bn), natural gas ($0.92bn), electrical machines ($0.87bn) medical products ($0.75bn)
Main import partners
 Italy $2.36bn
 Germany $2.25bn
 Russia $1.9bn
 China $1.51bn
 Hungary $1.01bn (2013)[9]
FDI stock
$29.846 billion (From 2000-2013)[10]
positive decrease$33.6 billion (2013 est.)[2]
Public finances
$26.73 bn (2013 est.)
61.2% of GDP (2013)[2][11]
$2.13 bn (Consolidated, 2013 est.)[2]
4.88% of GDP
Revenues $17.47 bn (Consolidated, 2013 est.)[2]
Expenses $19.60 bn (Consolidated, 2013 est.)[2]
Economic aid $3.49 billion of EU IPA funding (2001–2014)[12]
Foreign reserves
Increase$15.87 billion (2013 est.)[2]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

Economy of Serbia is the 87th or 81st largest in the world at $42.6 billion or $90.7 billion by nominal gross domestic product or purchasing power parity respectively. Its economy is mostly based on various services (60.3% of GDP), industry (31.8% of GDP) and agriculture (7.9% of GDP).[2] In the late 1980s, at the beginning of the process of economic transition from a planned economy to a market economy, Serbia's economy had a favorable position, but it was gravely impacted by economic sanctions from 1992 to 1995.[17]

After the ousting of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević in October 2000, the country went through an economic liberalization process, and experienced fast economic growth. GDP per capita (nominal) went from $1,152 in 2000 to $5,902 in 2013.[1] Furthermore, it became a candidate for the European Union in March 2012. The European Union is Serbia's most important trading partner. In 2011, the economy GDP growth was 2%.[18] Serbia entered a second recession in 2012, causing GDP to decline 1.5% for that year. In 2013, Serbia was among the top ten of European countries in regard to GDP growth, which amounted to 2.6% year on year.[19] During 2013, the unemployment rate fell from a high of 22.4% to 20.1% and incomes increased as well.[2] Estimated GDP (nominal) of Serbia for 2013 is $44.356 billion, which is $5,907 per capita. Estimated GDP (PPP) of Serbia for 2013 is $80.47 billion, which is $11,553 per capita.[2] Since the 1990s, Serbia has experienced a serious "brain drain". Despite the loss, the Serbian diaspora's transfers account between 10% and 15% of Serbia's GDP and significantly increase living standards in some parts of the country.[20]

In recent years, Serbia has seen an increasingly swift foreign direct investment trend, including auto industry (Fiat), metal processing (US Steel), building materials (Lafarge), food and beverages (Carlsberg, Coca Cola, and Nestle), textiles (Golden Lady, Pompea), leather (Progetti Company, Falc East), and ICT (Microsoft and Siemens).[21] By countries, most cash investments in the 2000–2012 period came from Italy ($2.69 billion), Austria ($2.65 billion), Norway ($2.16 billion), Belgium ($2.00 billion) and Greece ($1.66 billion), while other major investor countries also include United States, Russia, and Germany.[22] The actual amount of investments from countries such as the United States and Israel is significantly higher than the official figure due to their companies investing primarily through European affiliates.[23]

Overview[edit]

Macroeconomic trends[edit]

The average growth of Serbia's GDP in the last ten years was 2.45% per year. GDP structure by sector in 2013 was: services 60.3%, industry 31.8%, agriculture 7.9%.[2] GDP structure by components in 2013 was: private consumption 75.8%, public consumption 19.2%, investments 16.3%, exports 42,7%, imports -59,4%.[2]

The following table shows the GDP flow since 2000:[24][25]

Year GDP (USD bn) GDP growth rate GDP per capita
(Nominal)
GDP per capita
(PPP)
2000 8.66 +5.3 1,152 6,233
2001 11.43 +5.3 1,524 6,725
2002 15.16 +4.3 2,021 7,128
2003 19.58 +2.5 2,617 7,472
2004 23.54 +9.3 3,154 8,413
2005 25.06 +5.4 3,368 9,181
2006 29.33 +3.6 3,957 9,838
2007 39.16 +5.4 5,304 10,687
2008 47.67 +3.8 6,485 11,361
2009 40.24 -3.5 5,497 11,090
2010 36.38 +1.0 5,030 11,385
2011 43.77 +1.6 6,030 11,854
2012 38.09 -1.5 5,291 11,982
2013 42.49 +2.6 5,902 12,465
2014 42.65 -0.6 5,924 12,605

Serbia's primary industries include processing of motor vehicles, base metals, furniture, food processing, machinery, chemicals, sugar, tires, clothes and pharmaceuticals.[2] The main export products of Serbia in 2013 were: motor vehicles ($2.18bn), electrical machines ($1.12bn), fruit and vegetables ($0.67bn), cereals ($0.66bn) and non-ferrous metals ($0.65bn).[9] The main Serbian agriculture products are wheat, maize, sunflower, sugar beets, fruits (raspberries, apples, sour cherries), vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes), beef, pork, and meat products, milk and dairy products, grapes/wine.[2] Agriculture accounts for 7.9% of Serbia's GDP and almost one forth of the country's total exports, with around 23.9% of the population working in the industry.[26] The average growth of Serbian industry total from 2000 to 2013 was 1.51% per year.[27]

Industrial production growth rate
Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Mining and quarrying 28.8 -21.1 14.4 -0.8 -1.5 2.8 1.4 -4.1 4.2 -7.9 18.1 -3.4 -12.6 7.5
Manufacturing 44.7 -13.8 2.0 -7.3 14.2 -10.3 6.1 -1.1 -3.5 -16.6 19.7 -4.3 -1.4 6.6
Electricity, gas and water supply 8.7 -0.9 -2.9 4.0 -2.4 6.7 -4.4 0.6 -1.0 -1.2 -4.9 14.2 -16.8 15.2
Industry total 27.0 -11.3 1.7 -4.8 10.1 -6.3 3.9 -1.0 -2.6 -13.2 15 -0.8 -5 8.4
Source: [28]

Public finances[edit]

The Serbian Ministry of Finance performs tasks related to the state budget, public revenue, public spending and public debt in the country. Serbia's public debt relative to GDP from 2000 to 2008 decreased by 140.1 percentage points, and then started increasing again as the government was fighting effects of world-wide 2008 financial crisis.

Public debt
Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Debt (Billion EUR) 14.17 13.43 11.53 11.02 9.68 10.28 9.35 8,88 8.78 9.85 12.16 14.78 17.72 20.14
Debt (Percent of GDP) 169.3% 105.2% 72.9% 66.9% 53.3% 52.2% 37.7% 30.9% 29.2% 34.8% 44.5% 48.2% 60.2% 63.8%
Source: Ministry of Finance of Serbia

The National Bank of Serbia is the central bank of Serbia and as such its main responsibilities are the protection of price stability, the dinar exchange rate policy, management of the foreign currency reserves and maintenance of efficient payment and financial systems. Serbian foreign exchange reserves were highly augmented from 2000 to 2007, when they amounted 10.86 billion euros. As of 2013, Serbia's budget deficit is 4.88% and the public debt is 63.8% of GDP.[29]

Foreign exchange reserves
Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
National bank (Billion EUR) 0.55 1.32 2,19 2.84 3.10 4.92 9.02 9.63 8.16 10.60 10.00 12.06 10.91 11.19
Domestic banks (Billion EUR) 0.39 0.72 0.68 0.67 0.59 0.55 0.52 1.22 0.92 1.42 1.68 0.80 1.06 0.91
Total (Billion EUR) 0.95 2.05 2.86 3.50 3.70 5.47 9.54 10.86 9.08 12.03 11.69 12.87 11.97 12.10
Source: National Bank of Serbia

External trade[edit]

Serbian exports in 2009
Serbian imports in 2009
Graphical depiction of Serbia's product exports in 28 color-coded categories.
Fiat 500L – Motor vehicles are the leading export product of Serbia

Serbia signed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU enabling exports of all products originating from Serbia without customs and other fees.[30] For a limited number of products (baby beef, sugar, and wine), annual import quotas remain in effect. As of 2013, the EU countries were the largest partners of Serbia in terms of export with the value of $8.810 billion (60.30%) and in terms of import with the value of $13.348 billion (64.99%) of Serbia.[31] The value of bilateral trade between Serbia and the EU largest economy Germany reached a total of $3.73 billion in 2013, a historical record for the two nations.[32]

Serbia signed the CEFTA enabling exports of all products originating from Serbia without customs and other fees in the region: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and UNMIK-Kosovo.[30] In 2013, the CEFTA countries were the second largest trading partners of Serbia with sufficiency of $1.73 billion in 2013.[33]

Serbia FTA with Russia was implemented since 2000, with further liberalizations in 2009 and 2011.[30] For a limited number of products, annual import quotas remain in effect. The list of products, excluded from the Free Trade Agreement with Russia, is revised annually. The CIS countries (Russia is a participating country of CIS) are also large trading partners of Serbia.[34][30]

Serbia signed a FTA with EFTA members in December 2009.[35] With Switzerland and Liechtenstein it is active as of 2010 and with Norway and Iceland as of 2011. FTA with Turkey was signed in 2009, but took effect in May 2010.[34] Trade with the U.S. is pursued under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). U.S. trade benefits provide for a preferential duty-free entry for app. 4,650 products.[36]

External trade
Year 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Exports (mil. USD): 2,074 2,756 3,523 4,480 6,431 8,823 10,974 8,345 9,794 11,780 11,353 14,614
Imports (mil. USD): 5,614 7,477 10,755 10,461 13,174 19,165 24,332 15,808 16,471 19,862 19,014 20,543
Trade Balance (mil. USD): -3,540 -4,721 -7,232 -5,981 -6,743 -10,342 -13,358 -7,463 -6,677 -8,082 -7,661 -5,929
Exports/Imports (%): 36.9 36.9 32.8 42.1 48.8 46.0 45.1 52.8 59.5 59.3 59.7 71.1
Source: Statistical Office of Serbia


Top 5 export partners of Serbia in 2013:[9]

Top 5 import partners of Serbia in 2013:[9]

Top 5 export goods of Serbia in 2013:[9]

Top 5 import goods of Serbia in 2013:[9]

Foreign direct investments[edit]

Leading investor nations in Serbia as of 2013:

Serbia is open to foreign direct investment, and attracting FDI is set as a priority for the government of Serbia, which provides both financial and tax incentives to companies willing to invest.[37] Serbia has a long history of international commerce, even under communism, and it once attracted a sizeable foreign company presence, mainly due to its access to Comecon, and Non-Aligned Movement markets. Today, leading investor nations in Serbia include: Italy ($2.69bn), Austria ($2.65bn), Norway ($2.16bn), Belgium ($2.00bn) and Greece ($1.66n).[22] In a recent poll for investors, conducted by the German Chamber of Commerce, Serbia came on top as an investment destination in South-Eastern Europe, with 97% of companies being pleased with business conditions.[38] A total of $1.52 billion of foreign direct investment was received in 2013.[10]

Foreign direct investments
Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Inward FDI (USD Billions) 0.054 0.177 0.546 1.511 1.077 1.579 5.663 4.389 3.407 2.729 1.549 3.018 2.629 1.518
Total per capita (USD) 7.2 23.6 72.8 202.0 144.3 212.2 764.0 594.6 461.5 372.8 212.5 415.8 365.2 211.9
Source: [10]

Inward FDI by Industries (2004–2013):

Blue-chip corporations making investments in Serbia include: US Steel, Philip Morris, Microsoft, Fiat, Coca-Cola, Lafarge, Siemens, Carlsberg and others.[21] In the energy sector, Russian energy giants, Lukoil and Gazprom have made large investments.[39] The banking sector has attracted investments from Banca Intesa (Italy), Crédit Agricole and Société Générale (France), HVB Bank (Germany), Erste Bank, Raiffeisen Zentralbank and Hypo Group Alpe Adria (Austria), Eurobank EFG, Piraeus Bank (Greece), and others.[40] United States based Citibank, opened a representative office in Belgrade in December 2006.[41] In the trade sector, biggest foreign investors are France's Intermarché, German Metro Cash and Carry, Greek Veropoulos, and Slovenian Mercator.

Although most investments in previous years came primarily from the EU, greater interest is being shown from countries like India and Russia. On September 25, 2007, the Government of Serbia and Indian firm Embassy Group signed a memorandum of understanding on information technology park construction.[42] Embassy Group plans to build their first technological park in Europe at an area of 280ha in the town of Indjija near Belgrade. The five-year plan predicts building a business area of 250,000 square meters and employing around 25,000 people. This is planned as the largest Greenfield investment in Serbia, accounting for a minimum of $600 million.[43] On December 24, 2008, presidents of Serbia and Russia, Boris Tadić and Dmitry Medvedev have signed oil and natural gas deal under which Gazprom's oil arm Gazprom Neft gets a 51% stake in state-owned Naftna Industrija Srbije for 400 million euros in cash and 550 million euros in investments. As a part of the deal, a 400 km (250 mi) leg of the South Stream gas pipeline will be built through Serbia, an investment valued at another 2 billion euros.[44]

There are also several architectural projects in Belgrade with foreign investment.

Domestic currency[edit]

Main article: Serbian dinar
1000 Serbian dinar banknote

The official currency in Serbia is the Serbian dinar - RSD (1 dinar is lowest unit), RSD = 0.0087 Euro = 0.0120 USD (12/31/2013 National Bank of Serbia exchange rate).

USD/RSD exchange rate
Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
USD/RSD 67.67 RSD 58.98 RSD 54.64 RSD 57.94 RSD 72.22 RSD 59.98 RSD 53.73 RSD 62.90 RSD 66.73 RSD 79.28 RSD 80.87 RSD 86.18 RSD 83.13 RSD
Source: National Bank of Serbia

Companies[edit]

The list includes ten largest Serbian companies by revenue in 2013 (excluding banks):[45]

Rank Company Headquarters Industry Revenue
(Mil. €)
Employees Note
1. Naftna Industrija Srbije Novi Sad Petroleum 2,307 7,629 [46]
2. Elektroprivreda Srbije Belgrade Electric utility 1,917 31,569 [47]
3. Fiat Automobili Srbija Kragujevac Automotive 1,497 3,668 [48]
4. Telekom Srbija Belgrade Telecommunications 1,018 13,229 [49]
5. Delhaize Srbija Belgrade Retail 886 11,763 [50]
6. Srbijagas Novi Sad Natural gas 602 3,011 [51]
7. Tarkett Bačka Palanka Manufacturing 562 2,755 [52]
8. Mercator-S Novi Sad Retail 553 4,701 [53]
9. IDEA Belgrade Retail 483 3,954 [54]
10. Delta Holding Belgrade Holding 481 3,417 [55]

Transport in Serbia[edit]

Main article: Transport in Serbia
A1/E75 motorway in Serbia

Roads in Serbia are the backbone of its transportation system and constitute important transit roads in Europe. They are categorized as: state highways, class I; state highways, class II; local roads; municipal roads. Total length of public roads in Serbia is 40,845 km, of which 5,525 km are state highways, class I (including 643 km of motorways and expressways); 11,540 km are state highways, class II, and 23,780 km are local roads.

Serbia has 3,819 kilometers of rail tracks, of which 1,279 are electrified and 283 kilometers are double-track railroad.[56] All rail services are operated by public rail company, Serbian Railways.[57]

There are two cities in Serbia (excluding Kosovo) served by international airports with regular passenger traffic: Belgrade and Niš. Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport served 3.543 million passengers in 2013, and is a hub of flagship carrier Air Serbia.[58]

Tourism in Serbia[edit]

Main article: Tourism in Serbia
Belgrade NightLife

Serbia stretches across two geographic and cultural regions of Europe: Central Europe and Southeast Europe. This boundary splits Serbia roughly in a ratio of 1:2 alongside the Danube and Sava rivers. The northern parts of the country are Central-European lowlands while the southern and central parts are mostly mountainous. There are more than 15 mountain peaks rising to over 2,000 metres above sea level. The navigable rivers are the Danube, Sava and Tisa. A moderate continental climate predominates, with a more Mediterranean climate in the south.

Nightlife Belgrade has a reputation for offering a vibrant nightlife, and many clubs that are open until dawn can be found throughout the city. The most recognizable nightlife features of Belgrade are the barges (сплавови, splavovi) spread along the banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers.[59][60][61]

In 2013, total of 2,192,435 tourists visited Serbia. This was an increase of five percent compared to the last year, according to the Tourist Organization of Serbia (TOS).[62]

Energy in Serbia[edit]

Main article: Energy in Serbia
NIS headquarters in Novi Sad
NIS refinery in Pančevo

Electricity The main producer of electricity in Serbia is Elektroprivreda Srbije. The company has an installed capacity of 8,359 MW and generates 38.9 TWh of electricity per year. Its installed capacity in lignite-fired thermal power plant is 5,171 MW, gas-fired and liquid fuel-fired combined heat and power plants is 353 MW, and hydro power plants is 2,835 MW.[63] EPS is also the largest producer of lignite in Serbia operating in the Kolubara and Kostolac basins, producing around 37 million tonnes per year.[64]

Oil and Natural Gas Naftna Industrija Srbije is the only company in Serbia which deals with exploration and production of crude oil and gas, as well as with production of geothermal energy.[65] The company disposes with all necessary equipment for the performance of a whole range of complex activities such as geophysical exploration, control of production of crude oil, gas and geothermal energy. The majority of NIS oil fields are located on the territory of Serbia, in the province of Vojvodina, but upstream has business operations both in Serbia and abroad. In 2011 NIS started to expand business in south-east Europe: in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and Hungary.[66][67][68]

Srbijagas, public gas company, operates the natural gas transportation system which comprise 3,177 kilometers of trunk and regional natural gas pipelines and a 450 million cubic meter underground gas storage facility at Banatski Dvor.[69] Major European transit gas pipeline, South Stream pipeline, will pass through Serbia in length of 422 kilometers and will have capacity of 40.5 billion cubic meters.[70] Start of the construction of Serbian portion of the pipeline is scheduled for the end of 2013 and will be financed with $2.6 billion by the Russian energy giant Gazprom.[71]

Renewable Energy is increasingly being used in Serbia. Installed capacity of Wind power is 20 MW (currently being expanded to produce a total of 320 MW), and hydro power plants is 2,835 MW.[72] Serbia also makes use of geothermal and solar energy, currently 39% of Serbia's electricity comes from hydro while 3.5% comes from other renewable.[2] In June 2013 the Serbian government announced an action plan to meet 27 per cent of gross final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.[73][74]

Telecommunications in Serbia[edit]

205 meters-high Avala Tower

Fixed telephone lines have 89% of households in Serbia, and with about 9.8 million users the number of cellphones surpasses the number of total population of Serbia itself by 35%. The largest cellphone provider is Telekom Srbija with 5.65 million subscribers, followed by Telenor with 3.1 million users and Vip mobile with just over 1 million. 59.9% of households have computers and 55.8% have internet connection (43.4% have a broadband connection). Some 58% of households have cable TV, which is one of the highest rates in Europe. Digital television transition is set to be completed on June 17, 2015.[75]

National statistics[edit]

Government budget (Consolidated, 2013 est.)
Revenues: 17.47 billion USD
Expenditures: 19.60 billion USD

Source: [2]

Employment by sector (2013)
Tertiary: 59.6%
Secondary: 16.5%
Primary: 23.9%
Total labor force: 1.703 million
Unemployment rate: 20.1%

Source: [2]

External debt (2013)
Public sector: $16.78 bn
Private sector: $10.86 bn
Total: $27.64bn

Source: [76]

Energy (2013 est.)

Electricity - production: 37.65 billion kWh

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuels: 57.5%
hydroelectric plants: 39%
nuclear fuels: 0%
other renewable sources: 3.5%

Electricity - consumption: 28.04 billion kWh

Electricity - exports: 5.71 billion kWh

Electricity - imports: 5.84 billion kWh

Crude oil - production: 24,500 barrels per day (3,900 m3/d)

Oil - exports: 0 barrels per day (0 m3/d)

Oil -imports: 33,330 barrels per day (5,299 m3/d)

Oil - proved reserves: 77.5 million barrels (12.32×10^6 m3) (1 January 2013)

Refined Petroleum products - production: 65,720 barrels per day (10,449 m3/d)

Refined Petroleum products - consumption: 72,700 barrels per day (11,560 m3/d)

Refined Petroleum products - exports: 16,060 barrels per day (2,553 m3/d)

Refined Petroleum products - exports: 31,120 barrels per day (4,948 m3/d)

Natural gas - production: 484.7 million cubic meters

Natural gas - consumption: 2.827 billion cubic meters

Natural gas - exports: 0 cubic metres

Natural gas - imports: 2.45 billion cubic meters

Natural gas - proved reserves: 48.14 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Source: [77]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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