Serbia seems to rank highly on the destination lists of foreign investors – as the country has been experiencing an uptick in M&A and the arrival of new players – with IT, pharmaceuticals, and energy being among the sectors seeing significant growth, according to Bojanovic & Partners Managing Partner Vladimir Bojanovic.
"Over the past few months, there has been an upward trend in the market with the arrival of new investors in Serbia," Bojanovic begins. "There have been several M&A deals that are considered landmarks. At the same time, the IT, pharmaceutical, and energy sectors are some of the most prominent industries experiencing significant growth."
And analyzing those sectors in order, Bojanovic first points out that the primary reason for the increased interest of international IT companies in Serbia is related to the local workforce. "Foreign IT companies are increasingly investing in human capital in Serbia," he says. "Artificial intelligence is gaining traction, and Serbian law firms are setting up departments focused on AI."
Second, moving on to the pharmaceutical industry in the country, Bojanovic notes, "it is also attractive to the region due to the availability of a talented workforce." He highlights that this has been an underlying trend in the past, adding that "pharmaceuticals have always been performing well in Serbia."
Third, Bojanovic mentions that – while there are some industries that are facing challenges – there are also new winners emerging. "One such sector is the renewable energy industry, which is experiencing phenomenal growth. There are numerous new laws being implemented to facilitate the transition to clean energy, resulting in significant investment in wind and solar energy," he says. "On the other hand, some sectors, such as coal mining, are not performing well and are gradually fading out. Despite this, coal is still being used due to the lack of alternatives, particularly given the situation with Russia."
Taking a step back and looking at legislative updates of note, Bojanovic points out that "currently, there is new legislation being adopted, mostly in the form of secondary legislation, including specific laws related to TMT, to develop practical solutions that are applicable to the current technological progress."
Finally, Bojanovic says "there are rumors that new elections may be held soon, either later this year or in the next. However, the situation regarding those elections remains unclear at this point."