The high influx of foreign capital into Serbia continued last year too and according to estimates, it stood at around EUR 4.5 billion.
Foreign direct investments make up almost 6% of GDP; in recent years, they have participated with around 30% of total investments. The FDI influx from January to October last year amounted to EUR 3.7 billion, which is 8% more than in the same period of the previous year.
As stated in the latest analysis of Macroeconomic Analysis and Trends Magazine, at the same time, the largest part of the profit generated by foreign companies in Serbia is taken outside the country and last year it was as much as EUR 2.7 billion. Of that, EUR 1.6 billion is related to dividends and EUR 150 million to interest paid by foreign investors across the border.
Economist Ivan Nikolić tells Euronews Serbia that it is important how much profit was actually generated from dividends, adding that profit is the key motive of foreign companies and that they come to Serbia primarily to make money, not because of their interest in investing in Serbia and developing it.
He stated that the net influx of foreign investments completely covers the external trade deficit and above all the current account deficit.
“When we take into account all the outflow of foreign investments, based on invested profits, dividends, net outflow and interest – the amount stands at 1.23 billion EUR for 11 months of last year, which completely covers the deficit of the current account, which, in that period, amounted to 1.1 billion EUR. This is very important as it essentially benefits our interbank foreign exchange market. The exchange rate is not under pressure and the Dinar is stable,” Nikolić adds.
He believes that foreign companies will continue investing here despite the difficult circumstances.
“The crisis in Europe is really big and deep. Companies from Europe and the EU are still the largest investors in Serbia as a group. Individually by country, the largest investor is China, but overall Europe is undoubtedly the No 1 investor. In nine months of last year, 1.6 billion EUR investments came from Europe and 800 million EUR from China,” says Nikolić.
Nikolić adds that exporting and creating new jobs have been the biggest benefits of foreign investments for almost a decade.
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