Commercial Relations

Commercial Relations

India-Serbia Commercial Relations

India-Serbia bilateral trade during January-December 2018 amounted to US$ 214.8 million, an increase of 8.2% compared to the same period in 2017, with Indian exports to Serbia valued at US$ 202.6 million and Serbian exports to India at US$ 12.2 million. Recent bilateral trade figures are given below (in US$ Million):

In US$ million

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

India’s exports

153.6

173.9

139.96

140.0

133.3

187.6

202.6

India’s imports

4.9

8.7

8.7

5.6

9.4

10.9

12.2

Total trade

158.5

182.6

148.6

145.6

142.7

198.5

198.5

 

 

India’s top 5 Export Segments

(Jan-Dec 2018)

Values in 000, USD

1. Pharmaceutical & chemical products

47,217

2. Products of iron & steel

44,465

3. Textile, yarn, garments & footwear

25,683

4. Agro & food products

20,352

5. Industrial machinery

18,531

 

 

 

India’s top 5 Import Segments
(Jan-Dec 2018)

Values in 000, USD

1. CPU parts / storage units

2,875

2. Industrial machinery

2,420

3. Tobacco / cigarettes

1,554

4. Plastic products

1,062

5. Chemical products

892

 

2. Vice President Mr. M. Venkaiah Naidu was on an official Visit to Serbia from 14-16 September 2018. This was the first high level visit from India to Serbia in three decades and comes in the year when the two countries are celebrating 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations. The Vice President was accompanied by Mr Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State for Finance, four Members of Parliament, high level official delegation, a business delegation. During the visit, the Vice President had a meeting with President Aleksander Vucic of Serbia and discussed important aspects of bilateral relationship as well as global and regional issues of common interest to both the countries. The two leaders expressed commitment to further build on long-standing friendly ties between the two countries. In the area of economic cooperation, both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in the areas of priority such as agriculture, food processing, defence manufacturing, science and technology, information technology, infrastructure, tourism and pharmaceuticals. The Vice President also met Ms. Maja Gojkovic, Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia and addressed the special session of the National Assembly of Serbia. Ms. Ana Brnabic, Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia hosted a working lunch for the Vice President. On the occasion of 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations, Serbia Post and Department of Post of India jointly released commemorative stamps on the renowned Serbian scientist and inventor, Nikola Tesla and Swami Vivekananda. Vice President and Serbian President addressed the India-Serbia Business Forum on 15 September where large number of Serbian companies and Indian business delegation took part. At the forum bilateral cooperation in the area of agriculture, energy, pharmacy, IT industry, tourism, education, etc, were discussed. So far investments of Indian companies in Serbia were modest with Indian producer of tractors TAFE taking over Serbian Industry of Motors and Tractors (IMT). Also, Embassy Group of India has invested USD 20 million in a IT park in Serbia. The bilateral trade between India and Serbia reached approximately Euro 200 million in 2017. Two agreements were signed during the visit : (a) Revised Air Services Agreement - agreement is intended to boost trade & tourism and has opened possibilities for establishing direct flights between two counties and code sharing commercial agreements between air carriers in future. (b) Agreement on Cooperation in Plant Protection and Plant Quarantine- this agreement seeks to enhance trade in fruits, vegetables, processed foods, etc.


3. Visit of Serbian Prime Minister (now President) to India: Mr. Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister of Serbia visited India from 9-12 January 2017 to participate in the “Vibrant Gujarat Global Economic Summit 2017” and held bilateral meetings with Indian leadership and business community. This was the first high level bilateral state visit since 1986. Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic called on Prime Minister Modi and discussed a wide range of issues including bilateral relation which have always remained close and friendly. The two Prime Ministers agreed on the need to promote economic cooperation including in the fields of food production, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, defence industry, health, tourism and IT. Addressing the plenary of the “Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit”, PM Vucic invited Indian investors to Serbia and promised to provide the best possible conditions for doing business for Indian companies. Prime Minister Vucic met the Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani and stressed the importance of economic cooperation between Serbia and Gujarat, especially in agriculture, food industry, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and the Information Technology sector. In his meeting with Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai, Prime Minister discussed possibilities of enhancing bilateral trade and investment between Serbia and the state of Maharashtra in the field of agriculture, processing of seeds, technologies for food processing and IT. Prime Minister Vucic also met Pankaj Patel, President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to discuss the possibilities of expanding bilateral cooperation especially in the field of tourism and films. In Mumbai, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) hosted an exclusive interaction with Mr Aleksandar Vucic, where he reached out to Indian CEOs and discussed on enhancing the economic engagements with a focus on exploring business opportunities in manufacturing, IT, MSMEs and hospitality & Tourism. Prime Minister Vucic discussed possibilities of electric scooter production, increased production of tractors and automobiles, agri-machinery, agro processing, export of raspberries, tourism and development of IT sector in Serbia with Mr Anand Mahindra, President of the Mahindra Group.

4. Visit of H.E. Mr Ivica Dacic, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Serbia to India. At the invitation of Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of India, H.E. Mr Ivica Dacic, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Republic of Serbia paid an official visit to India from 1-4, May 2018. During his visit, Mr Dacic held bilateral talks with Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister and discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of common interest. They took stock of progress made in bilateral cooperation in key areas, particularly trade & investment, agriculture & food processing, science & technology, information technology, defence, health & pharmaceuticals, culture and tourism. An agreement on cooperation in the field of culture, sports, youth and mass media was signed by the two Ministers. Mr. Dacic called on Hon’ble Mr. M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India and delivered a lecture on ‘Serbia in the region, Europe and the World’ at the Indian Council of World Affairs on 3rd May, 2018. The visit of Mr. Dacic is expected to further strengthen the overall bilateral relations of our two friendly countries. The visit of Foreign Minister took place as a part of regular high level exchanges between the two countries, following the visit of the Hon’ble Mr Aleksandar Vucic, Serbian President (in his capacity as Prime Minister) to India in January 2017 and Mr Branislav Nedimovic, Agriculture Minister for World Food India in November 2017.


5. MOS (PMO) Dr. Jitendra Singh visited Serbia from 12-16 October, 2016 and met PM Aleksandar Vucic, Speaker Maja Gojkovic, First DPM & FM Ivica Dacic, DPM and Minister of Trade, Tourism & Telecommunications, Rasim Ljajic and Minister of Agriculture & Environmental Protection Branislav Nedimovic. MOU on Cooperation in the field of IT & Electronics was signed. Other aspects of the programme included visit to Gandhi Street, meeting with Indologists and roundtable with Indian companies in Serbia.


6. Serbian participation in World Food India 2017: Mr. Branislav Nedimovic, Serbian Minister for Agriculture, Forestry & Water Management led a delegation of 11 agro processing companies, senior officials, Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, Development Agency of Serbia, Congress Travel International to World Food India 2017 held in New Delhi from 3-5 November 2017. The Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia set up a 126 m2 stall at the fair where 11 Serbian companies namely ITN Group, Yumis, All Berries, Mirax Agrar, Bambi Concern, Elixir Food, Lucic Group, Sirogojno Compnay, Agranela, Agropress and Maize Research Institute “Zemun Polje” exhibited products like frozen fruits, confectionary, dried fruits, etc. Minister Nedimovic held bilateral meeting with Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of Agriculture and suggested harmonization of veterinary certificates of the two countries and early conclusion of phyto-sanitary agreement, which the two sides are negotiating. Indian Minister suggested that Serbia may consider importing tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple, banana, papaya etc. from India. Minister Nedimovic invited India to the annual International Agricultural Fair of Novi Sad held in May every year which was accepted by the Indian side. Minister Nedimovic discussed the scope of bilateral cooperation in the food processing sector during his meeting with Ms. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries. Minister met Mahindra Group, CG Food India and visited TAFE Tractors in Madurai. CG Food India organized an Investors Forum to raise awareness of investing in Serbia due to Serbia’s FTAs with EU, Russia, Turkey, USA, etc.


7. India-Serbia Joint Economic Committee: The 3rd meeting of the India-Serbia Joint Economic Committee (JEC) was held through video conferencing on 10th March 2017 where both sides expressed readiness to find ways and means for further development of bilateral economic cooperation. Both sides agreed to further strengthen and diversify bilateral economic & commercial relations and continue linkages between business associations/trade bodies on either side to promote bilateral trade. The Indian side apprised the Serbian side about the latest economic developments in India and highlighted the flagship projects such as Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, Smart Cities, Swachh Bharat (Clean India), Start-Up India, etc. Both sides examined and discussed the status of bilateral economic cooperation, including trade and investment, agriculture & food processing, energy, mining, scientific and technical cooperation, Information Technology & Electronics, civil aviation, health, pharmaceuticals, tourism, film making, youth affairs & sports and cooperation between private sectors.


8. Meeting of Indian-Serbia Joint Committee on S&T: The 2nd meeting of the India-Serbia Joint Committee on S&T was held in Belgrade on 2-3 October 2017. The Indian delegation was led by Dr Jagdish Chander, Scientist-G & Adviser-International Cooperation, Department of S&T and comprised Prof. Romesh K. Salgotra, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences & Technology and Dr. Asif Mohmmed, International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi. Prof. Dr. Viktor Nedovic, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Education, S&T Development co-chaired the committee from the Serbian side. The two sides agreed to hold two workshops – in the scientific domains of (a) biotechnology & human health and (b) ICT to be held in India and Serbia, respectively. Both sides also agreed to announce joint calls in the second half of 2018 after the workshops in accordance with priority fields as incorporated in the POC i.e. (i) New materials and Nanotechnology, (ii) Energy and Energy efficiency, (iii) Information and Communication Technologies, (iv) Human health, (v) Biotechnology including food technology and food security.


9. Meeting of India-Serbia Joint Committee on IT & Electronics: The first meeting of the India-Serbia Joint Committee on IT & Electronics was held through video conferencing on 16th October 2017. The two sides exchanged cooperation agendas in the field of IT industry, e-Governance including Cloud Computing, IoT, Big Data etc. and Start-up ecosystem. India presented the latest development on the process and activities of implementation the Digital India programme launched in 2015 with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy and proposed to share information and experiences with Serbian experts in the field of e-Governance. Serbia suggested cooperation in the field of 5G mobile systems and Cyber security. Serbia sought cooperation in developing Smart cities’ technology in Serbia. Later in Nov 2017, Prof Dr. Irini Reljin, Assistant Minister for Electronic Communications & Postal Services met with Shri Rajiv Kumar, JS(IC), MeitY and co-chair of India-Serbia Joint Committee on IT & Electronics to discuss joint projects during her visit to India for GCCS 2017 .


10. The first Meeting of India-Serbia Joint Commission on Agriculture: The first meeting of India-Serbia Joint Commission on Agriculture was held on 15th November 2016 through video conferencing. Both sides reviewed bilateral ties and exchanged potential areas of cooperation identified in the bilateral MOU on Agriculture and Allied Sectors signed in March 2009. The Serbian side emphasized its interest to increase exports of fresh, frozen and processed fruits and vegetables to India, while the Indian side expressed interest in exporting tropical fruits, tea and coffee to Serbia, and importing pulses, sunflower and soya from Serbia. Serbian side expressed interested in import of agriculture machinery such as trucks, tractors, combine harvester. India is invited to be a Partner Country in the International Agricultural Fair, Novi Sad. Experts on both sides are negotiating an agreement on phytosanitary cooperation to promote trade in crops, oil seeds, soyabean, berries, tropical fruits etc.


11. Serbian participation in 4th India Europe29 Business Forum (IE29BF): Mr. Bogdan Igic, State Secretary accompanied by Mr Marko Majstorovic, Adviser, M/o Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Serbia participated in 4th IE29BF held in New Delhi on 5-6 March 2018. The event organized by FICCI was attended by more than 100 business and 70 official delegates from twenty countries. Mr. Igic delivered a valedictory address and presented Serbian perspective on accelerating cooperation with India especially in Agriculture sector.


12. Second Meeting of India-Serbia Business Forum: The second meeting of the India-Serbia Business Forum was organized on 27th February 2017 in the backdrop of the visit by Mr Aleksandar Vucic, President of Serbia to India. Mrs Narinder Chauhan, Ambassador of India and Mr Nemanja Stevanovic State Secretary from the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-chaired the forum. Ambassador presented the latest developments in India-Serbia relations including historic visit of Mr Aleksandar Vucic and ongoing initiatives which are aimed at deepening bilateral economic relations. State Secretary Nemanja Stevanovic acknowledged India as world’s economic superpower and underlined that India could assist Serbia’s development in many areas including ICT sector. Mr Zeljko Sertic, Director of the Serbian Development Agency stressed on the need of enhancing bilateral trade and spoke about administrative & legal issues Serbia has to solve in order to attract more investments from India. The Forum was attended by more than 60 Serbian businesspersons from varied sectors, senior Serbian government functionaries. The primary goal of the Forum is to bring together Serbian companies and to develop possible strategies to remove hurdles and facilitate improvement of environment for smooth trade relations between our two friendly countries.

13. India-Serbia Business Forum Roundtable: The Embassy organized India-Serbia Business Forum (ISBF) Roundtable in Belgrade on 13th December, 2017 as a follow up to the second meeting of the ISBF held on 27 February 2017. Ambassador convened the Roundtable which was attended by Ms. Irini Reljin, Assistant Minister, ICT and Telecom; Mr. Viktor Nedovi?, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Science & Technology; Mr. Igor Grabež, Advisor to Minister of Agriculture; Ms. Violeta Jovanovic, Director of NALED; Ms. Sanja Vraneš, Director, Institute ‘Mihajlo Pupin’; Ms. Sonja Vukadinovic, Head of Asia Dept.-Yugoimport-SDPR; Mr. Vladimir Radunovi?, Director of e-diplomacy and cyber security programmes, Diplo Foundation; Ms. Milica Božani?, Executive Director, Film Commission of Serbia and Mr. Pavle Zeli?, Head of International Cooperation, Medicines & Medical Devices Agency of Serbia. The Participants outlined measures for further enhancing trade and investment.

14. Inauguration of production plant of Wai Wai noodles in Ruma: The Indian company CG Food India (CGFI), a subsidiary of Singapore based Cinnovation Group, has invested Euro 9 million in a wholly owned state of art factory to produce instant noodles under the brand name Wai Wai in Ruma, Serbia. Ambassador attended the official opening of the plant along with H.E. Mr. Aleksandar Vucic, President of Serbia on 5th October 2017. The production of dehydrated instant noodles is with more than 80% of the local raw material. Wai Wai products are being exported to 30 nations taking advantage of Serbia’s FTAs with EU, Russia, Turkey, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, European Union, CEFTA etc. and also to Canada and the US.

15. India’s Excel Industries Limited buys manufacturing company Blok Signal d.o.o., Nis: The Indian company Excel Industries Limited, part of Excel Group with headquarters in United Arab Emirates, has bought the Nis-based factory Blok Signal d.o.o. Ambassador attended the official opening of company on 28th May 2017. With an initial investment of Euro 1 million, the company is said to manufacture railway equipment such as railway posts, light signals, railway signs etc. and waste management equipment, namely garbage containers, truck containers, conveyor belt etc.

16. Schneider Electric DMS of Serbia in Naya Raipur Smart City Project: The Serbian IT company Schneider Electric DMS NS is working on developing the first greenfield integrated smart city of Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh under the Smart Cities programme of the Government. Since 2013, Schneider Electric DMS NS has been delivering its most advanced 3rd generation ADMS in India including OPTCL Puri in Odisha, R-APDRP ADMS projects in Bihar and Kerala, and now Smart City project in Naya Raipur (Chattisgarh state).

17. Visit of Indian tour operators: The Embassy organized visit of five Indian tour operators comprising representatives from Travkart, Express Holidays, Anuga Holidays, Pushpak Group and Eco travels on familiarization tour from 21-25 October 2017 to form a network of tour operators in order to enhance two-way tourism.

18. Visit of Indian Travel Writers to Serbia: The Embassy organized visit of three Indian Travel Writers to Serbia from 16-21 October 2017. The delegation visited various historical, archeological, cultural tourist attractions in Belgrade, Zlatibor, Topola, Nis, Sremski Karlovci and Novi Sad.

19. Familiarization visit of Serbian Tour Operators to India: With the aim of promoting India tourism, Embassy of India in Belgrade in association with Ministry of Tourism of India and Turkish Airlines organized a familiarization trip of Serbian Tour Operators to India from September 23-28, 2017.Indian Ministry of Tourism provided full local hospitality to the group comprising eight prominent Serbian tour operators, namely, S.A.B. Travel, Kontiki Travel, Disko Drugar, Manga Travels, Travelland, Travel Boutique, I.Travel, Jungle Travel and a representative of Turkish Airlines.

20. Indian film professionals visit Serbia: The Embassy organized the visit of a delegation of film professionals to Serbia in October 2017 to explore film making opportunity in Serbia.

21. Power & coal official delegation from West Bengal visits Serbia: Mr. S.Kishore, Principal Secretary, Power Department, Government of West Bengal and Mr. Santanu Basu, CMD, West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL) visited Serbia on 14-15 May 2017 regarding possible collaboration in Coal Mining Technology and Clean Coal Technology.

22. Visit of Jharkhand State Consultant : Mr.Sudhir John Horo, Advisor, Department of Information & Public Relations, Government of Jharkhand visited Serbia from 15-25 October 2017 to promote Jharkhand state in Serbia. The visit was aimed at creating awareness among prospective Serbian partners by showcasing and publicizing various business opportunities and key reforms carried out in the state of Jharkhand in the recent past and to showcase Jharkhand’s rich tradition, tribal heritage and culture as well as promoting it as a film-friendly state and an interesting tourist destination.

23. Roundtable meeting with the representative of Serum Institute of India: On 28th June, Embassy organized a roundtable meeting of Mr Yogesh Joshi Director – Moscow Representative Office of the Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. with Ms Vera Stoiljkovic (Director), Ms Ana Vidmanic (Assistant Director for Quality Management) and Ms Svetlana Janketic from the Institute of Virology, Vaccines and Sera – Torlak, Mr Pavle Zelic (International Cooperation) and Mr Miodrag Stamenkovic from the Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia and Mr. Mladen Tosic from Serbian company UTI (Representative of Panacea Biotech). At the meeting the possibilities of cooperation between the Serum Institute of India and Torlak were discussed with the aim of joint production of vaccines to fulfil the requirements of Serbia and neighboring countries.

24. Serbian participation in the 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space – GCCS 2017: Ms. Irini Reljin, Assistant Minister, Electronic Communications & Postal Services, M/o Trade, Tourism and Telecommunication of Serbia led a 4-member delegation comprising Serbian cyber experts from public and private sector to the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS-2017) in New Delhi on November 23-24, 2017.

25. Serbian participation at 8th Global Entrepreneurship Summit : Ms Natasa Milanovic, Director, Biosil d.o.o participated in the 8th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2017) in Hyderabad from 28-30 November 2017. Biosil Ltd deals with organic production and processing of fruits & vegetables through innovation.

26. Morbi Ceramic cluster takes part in International Construction Fair in Belgrade. Morbi Ceramics Associations (MCA) represented by Mr Vishal Acharya participated in the South East European Belgrade Building Expo (SEEBBE) 2017 held in Belgrade from 19-23 April 2017. MCA represented the Indian ceramic industry and invited Serbian companies to take part in Vibrant Ceramics Expo and Summit (VCES) 2017.

27. Indian participation in Partner 2017: HBL Power Systems Limited, Manufacturers of Batteries for aviation, telecom, defence, oil & gas industry etc participated in the International Armament and Military Equipment Fair “Partner 2017” held in Belgrade from 27-30 June, 2017.

28. Shooting of Indian films in Serbia: The shooting of Indian films has commenced in Serbia. Recently shooting of Hindi film, ‘Soorma’ has taken place in Belgrade. With the appeal of excellent crews and beautiful natural locations becoming increasingly recognized, Serbia has been attracting more and more big budget Indian productions. Soorma is the latest large Indian production following “Vivegam”- Tamil thriller with Ajit Kumar and Vivek Oberoi, “Oopiri” – remake of the French film “Untouchables” in 2016 and Mani Ratnam’s ‘Kaatru Veliyidai’ (into the wind) (2017) shot on locations in Serbia.

29. Tourism promotion: MOU on cooperation in Tourism was signed in 2004. Embassy of India in Belgrade participated in the 41st International Tourism Fair being held from 21-24 February 2019 at Sajam Fair, Belgrade. H.E. Mr Rasim Ljajic, Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism & Telecommunication of Republic of Serbia and H.E. Mr S Bhattacharjee, Ambassador of the Republic of India inaugurated the India Pavilion at the fair which showcases Indian tourism potentials. Tourism is one of the priority areas which was discussed during the visit of Hon’ble Vice President of India to Serbia in September 2018 and both sides agreed to enhance cooperation. Today India is the favored destination for year round tourism; for heritage, cultural, spiritual, wildlife, eco-tourism, medical, business, sports tourism, etc. India offers incredible diversity of tourism - cultural rich cities, spiritual places, tropical beaches, heartbreaking Himalayan mountain ranges or wildlife safari. Over the years, India has grown to become a top-notch destination for medical travel backed by quality of therapy, range of procedural and treatment options, infrastructure and skilled manpower, zero waiting time etc. The fair provides a suitable platform and opportunity to showcase Indian potential in tourism sector and to project India as a major tourist destination. The Belgrade International Tourism Fair is ranked as the largest tourism event in Serbia and Southeast Europe. Over 650 exhibitors from nearly 40 countries are participating in the fair which is expected to attract around 70000 visitors. Tourism of Indian states was promoted through special supplements/advertisements in prominent Serbian magazines/newspapers ‘Elevate’ ‘Terminal’ ‘Turistcki Svet’, CorD, ‘Diplomacy & Commerce’, ‘Politika’, ‘Novosti’, ‘Informer’, etc.

30. Promotion of Yoga, Ayurveda & Homeopathy: The Embassy of India, Belgrade in association with Government of Serbia and United Nations Country Team in Belgrade marked the International Day of Yoga on Saturday, the 16th June at the NATO Memorial in Usce Park New Belgrade and the historic Avala Monument. Yoga enthusiasts performed yoga as per the Common Yoga Protocol in the presence of H.E. Mrs. Tamara Vucic. Apart from Belgrade, IDY Celebrations were also held in other cities/municipalities of Serbia, including in Novi Sad, Subotica, Sombor, Zrenjanin, Kula, Vrsac etc.

 

31. Participation in Serbian fairs: Embassy regularly participated in following local fairs and festivals:

i) International Fair of Tourism (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)

ii) International Book Fair (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

iii) International Agriculture Fair (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

iv) Belgrade Fashion Week (Manish Arora) (2014)

v) Belgrade Design Week (Satya Sheel 2014, Kamran Patel 2017)

vi) International Day of Yoga (2015, 2016, 2017)

vii) International Ethnic Food & Drinks Fair (2015, 2016)

viii) Auteur Film Festival (2014, 2015, 2016)

ix) Film Street (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

 

33. Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC): More than 150 Serbian nationals have been imparted training under the ITEC Programme since it was extended to Serbia in 2008 in a wide and diverse range of skills and disciplines including IT, ICT, Expenditure Management, Entrepreneurship, WTO, Banking & Finance and Sustainable Development, Rural Development, Renewable Energy, Climate Change, English proficiency, yoga, etc. ITEC Day was observed on 19th March 2019.

34. Major Indian investments and present collaboration of Indian & Serbian companies is as follows:

Embassy Group IT Park: Indian real estate company, Embassy Group from Bengaluru, has developed an IT Park in Indija near Belgrade with an initial investment of USD 20 million. The IT Park, first LEED GOLD certified building in the region, has the potential to become an IT hub.

The Indian company CG Food India, subsidiary of Singapore based Cinnovation Group has invested Euro 9 million in a noodles factory in Ruma.

TAFE: Indian company Amalgamations Ltd is the official dealer of TAFE tractors in Serbia and the region. TAFE has acquired Serbian IMT brand for tractor manufacturing.

Mahindra Tractors: The Serbian company "Agropanonka MTZ Finke" in collaboration with Mahindra & Mahindra has opened an assembly line for Mahindra tractors in Novi Sad.

Sonalika Tractors: International Tractors Limited (Sonalika Group) has started assembly line of tractors with Serbian company FPM Agromehanika AD under the brand SOLIS, in the Serbian city of Boljevac.

Mahindra & Mahindra Motors: Serbian company Agropanonka represents Mahindra & Mahindra and deals with automotive products.

HiMedia Laboratories: Cooperation with Serbian company ProMedia and possibilities for new investments and export to EU in the field of microbiology.

UAE based Indian company Excel Industries has invested USD 1.12 million in Blok Signal for making railway and waste management equipment.

Another Indian company from UAE , Mulk Holdings has invested USD 20 million in Alubaond for manufacturing aluminum panels.

Panacea Biotec: Serbian company ÚTI d.o.o is the official representative for Panacea Biotec pharmaceutical company on the Serbian market.

Himalaya Herbal: Serbian company A-lek is the official representative for Himalaya Herbal range of skincare, dietary and veterinary products on the Serbian market.

35. Agreements and implementation: The necessary bilateral instruments to promote trade and investment are already in place namely:

Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) [2003]. New Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) is under negotiation.

Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) [2006]

Trade Agreement (MFN status) [2006]. The 3rd JEC meeting was held in March 2017.

Tourism Agreement [2004]

Air Services Agreement [2003] - Air Services Agreement has been revised and 'Air Serbia' and 'Jet Airways' are the designated airlines (2017).

MOU on Agricultural Cooperation [2009]. Meeting of the Joint Commission on Agriculture was held in Nov 2016.

MOU on Cooperation in Science and Technology [2004]. Meeting of the Joint Committee on S&T held in Belgrade in Oct 2017.

MOU on IT & Electronics [October 2016]. Joint Working Group meeting held in Oct 2017

MOU on Archives (Oct 2017)

MOU on Cooperation in Culture, Arts, Mass Media, Youth & Sports.

MOU on Phytosanitary Cooperation.

36. Potential: The following sectors have the potential for enhancing India-Serbia trade:

(i) Metals (Refined copper, wire & ores, aluminum unwrought, iron ores)- The largest import segment in Serbia’s foreign trade in 2017 at USD 2.5 billion and the second largest segment in India-Serbia bilateral trade. At the third meeting o the India-Serbia JEC, the Indian side made Expression of Interest in procuring recently discovered deposits of copper and gold from Serbia.

(ii) Retail Medicaments - This was the second largest import segment in Serbia’s foreign trade in 2017 at USD 2.2 billion and was also the biggest segment in India-Serbia bilateral trade. The Serbian Pharma sector offers great possibilities for Indian investors .

(iii) Manufacturing of Agri Machinery and tractors- Potential demand for tractors in Serbia could be between 5.7 to 8.6 bln Euros. Indian tractors could provide low-cost alternative to tractors currently imported in Serbia.

(iv) Agro products (coffee, bananas, tobacco and spices)- India is the second largest supplier of coffee to the Serbian market. It appears worthwhile for Indian companies to also consider exporting products such as mangoes, bananas, pineapple, raw tobacco and spices.

(v) Agro chemicals (Fertilizers, Herbicides, Fungicides)- Agriculture & food processing constitute one of the main segments of the Serbian industry with annual production reaching around USD 5 billion. Good opportunities exist for export of agro-cheicals.

(vi) Mobile phones- With SIM penetration of close to 128.5% (9.1 ml mobile phones) and 70% internet connectivity, Serbian customers are at par with the Western European countries. The Smartphone penetration amongst Serbian mobile users is around 45%, and constantly rising. Indian manufacturers with competitive prices may have an opportunity to gain market share.

(vii) Petrochemicals (Polyethylene & Polypropylene)- Serbia imports large quantities of these petrochemicals annually.

(viii) Ayurvedic and herbal personal care products- Local consumers are increasingly looking for products of natural origin for personal care which is India's speciality.

(ix) Tanned leather- Serbia has a developed shoemaking and leather furniture Industry and most of the raw leather is imported from other countries.

(x) Particle wood board- Serbia has a well-developed furniture industry which imports particle wood board.

(xi) Science &Technology- Serbia is looking for technology transfer in various industry segments and there is potential for investment in science & innovation.

(xii) Infrastructure- Investment in infrastructure is a high priority for the Serbian government. The projects include construction of roads, bridges, railways, water transport infrastructure, air traffic and municipal infrastructure.

(xiii) Petroleum products- Serbia has a developed petroleum industry which is importing most of the necessary raw materials and equipment. Thus it might offer a great export opportunity for Indian companies. Serbia has sought strategic partner from India in HIP Petrohemija, petrochemica  complex in Pancevo.

(xiv) Renewable energy- Favorable conditions exist for energy production from almost all types of renewable energy sources in Serbia. The market is open for new investments.

(xv) Textile: India’s investors could gain an opportunity to shorten response time and delivery time to market’s in Europe and Russia. Opportunity to export raw materials to Serbian manufacturers. Investors would be able to benefit from low labor costs.

(xvi) Mining - The Serbian government is seeking partnership for large mining enterprises. Serbia’s mines are operated by outdated technology, indicating potential for India’s companies to provide mechanization. Coal reserves are estimated to meet present levels of production for the next 100 years. Serbia’s electricity production is highly dependent on coal, with around 70% of electricity produced by thermal power plants.

(xvii) Automobile - The Serbian automotive industry accounts for almost 10% of FDI since 2001 largely in the FIAT project in Kragujevac which has helped attract a number of car parts producers to Serbia. Serbia is becoming a hub for companies manufacturing automotive parts and accessories.

Other products which could be of interest to Indian exporters are: Polyethylene having a specific gravity of 0,94 or more, Fungicides, Herbicides, Unwrought zinc, Polystyrene, Cotton yarn, Footwear, Monumental or building stone, Sesame seeds, Granite crude or roughly trimmed, Women's or girls' blouses, suits, shirts, knitted or crocheted, toilet linen and kitchen linen.

Serbian export products of interest to Indian importers are: Cigarettes, Raspberries, Apples, Peaches, Maize seeds, Blackberries and mulberries, Sour cherries, Strawberries, Plums, Beer made from malt, Mineral waters, Acetic acid, Wooden furniture, Beech wood, Unrefined copper.

 
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