In the wake of an official visit by HSH Prince Albert II to Serbia, 7-8 October, Monaco Economic Board (MEB) seized the opportunity to meet key players from the country’s business community. Discussions were constructive with the promise of interesting prospects in the future.
On the first day, MEB directors took part in the talks between HSH Prince Albert II and Serbian Republic President Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić. Still in the presidential palace, MEB Executive Director General, Guillaume Rose, and his deputy Justin Highman were received by Marko Čadež, President of Serbia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry. A memorandum of understanding was signed by both parties in the presence of the two heads of state, symbolising the strengthening of ties.
This was followed by a meeting between the two Chambers of Commerce which identified potential areas for collaboration, with international trade in food products and mining resources highlighted as interesting avenues to pursue, along with renewable energy. Another area is new technology which enjoys strong support from the state, taking advantage of a skilled and competitive workforce that has already attracted considerable foreign investment.
The next day, the MEB delegation were invited to tour Belgrade’s Science Technology Park, an exemplary hi-tech business park teaming with start-ups, some of which were selected to pitch their ideas to the group. As an incubator of innovation the possibility is there to promote collaborative projects with its Monegasque counterpart, MonacoTech.
The trip was a great success, boosted by the support of HSH Prince Albert II and confirming Serbia as an ideal target to develop new opportunities for companies in the Principality. A Trade Mission to Belgrade and return visit by a Serbian delegation for 2021 were discussed.
With a population of seven million in the heart of the Balkans, Serbia and its capital offer a platform from which to expand a business not only in this region but also Russian-speaking countries. Although Serbia is not yet a European Union member (negotiations are ongoing), a bilateral agreement exempts 90% of imports entering the country from customs duties.