Opportunities in Serbia
Serbia is a country on the Balkan Peninsula, that has a little over 7 million people. Belgrade is the capital and the biggest city in the country.
Belgrade is also the cultural center of Serbia, and this impact goes even beyond the borders of the country. This is mostly reflected in popular music and cinematography.
Serbia had a big and important role in Ex Yugoslavia, a confederation that was consisted of six countries: Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Slovenia and North Macedonia.
If you are visiting the Balkan region, Serbia is a must!
Belgrade is mostly famous for its nightlife, and social life in this country is a big part of the culture of people.
Prices in Serbia are significantly lower than in most Western European countries.
Food, housing, and transportation are quite affordable here.
On the other hand stuff such as clothing or electronics will be significantly more expensive here, due to high import duties.
What is Serbia not good for
We want to debunk some myths that people might have when it comes to opportunities in this country.
The first one would be company formation.
Generally speaking, Serbia is very bureaucratic, and not really efficient business-wise, taxes are not as low as you would get in some other countries.
For company formation, you would be far better off if you went to Montenegro, Bulgaria, or Hungary.
The second thing would be opening bank accounts.
Many people come to us thinking about banking in Serbia since Serbia doesn’t have CRS.
Opening bank accounts in Serbia can be very challenging for foreigners, and the banking system is a little behind.
Serbia had a turbulent history, with many losses they still haven’t recovered from. Many geopolitical problems held this area back for years, and the influence can still be seen today.
The best part about Serbia? People!
Unfortunate history in combination with the culture created a drive for development and education.
When you come to Serbia you will notice a lot of educated people.
University education is free and widely available. This created many highly educated people in this country. Also, people from surrounding countries especially Montenegro and Bosnia are coming to Belgrade to pursue university degrees.
Balkan region was a big playground for mixing different cultures and nations. From the Ottomans to the Austro-Hungarian empire, many different conquerors were coming and bringing their culture and customs to this part of the world. This made people of this region quite adaptive.
If you are an American, there is a higher chance that you will find a common language with a Serbian, then let’s say Indian or Chinese.
We love working with people from Serbia. Some of our best and most resourceful workers come from this part of the world.
People have a strong working ethic and they care about improvement.
What I like the most is their design sense. Serbia has some of the best graphic designers I’ve seen. What you get for the money is amazing!
There is a world of difference when it comes to graphic and web designers from Serbia and India. Serbian ones have a much more appealing design sense, at least for us.
Serbia is our favorite place to hire people
Just like we mentioned you will have an amazing selection of educated workforce. Also, unemployment is quite high, which means more availability of people.
Wages are quite affordable, lower than in Bulgaria by about 20-30%.
Serbia is not a part of the EU, so it is not as easy to move abroad as it is to Bulgarians or Romanians.
What you get from your employees for the money you pay them is just insanely good. Arguably the best in the world.
Connections are everything
When it comes to investing and doing business in Serbia, it is very important to note that connections are everything. This can make or break you.
Serbia is still, unfortunately, a very corrupt country, many like to compare it to Russia in that regard.
There are certainly some opportunities for investing in Serbia, but we wouldn’t recommend it at this stage of the cycle.
If we are talking about real estate investments we would recommend Montenegro over Serbia at this point.
If you are considering an investment in startups Serbia might be an interesting place to look at.
You will find many intelligent people with good ideas, but the lack of funding is making it hard to make those ideas come to life. People don’t have the same access to capital as people in Germany, Estonia or UK, etc.
On the flip side, costs are much lower in Serbia so money invested in a startup will go much further than in many other places.
If you find an entrepreneur that you can invest in, we would recommend considering it.
These are some of our insights into the country. Hope that this article was helpful.
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