The Director of the Economic Institute, Ivan Nikolic said that Serbia should not expect particular benefits and opportunities to increase export to the UK after its exit from the EU (Brexit), and that the risks of the economic slowdown in this market are still being assessed.
“So far, the UK has had a limited presence in the economy of the entire South-East European region. Certainly, much less than its potential. It has not given up a restrictive visa regime for the holders of diplomatic and regular passports, as well as for transit passengers, which makes business difficult even for their overseas territories,” said Nikolic.
He added that Serbia will not suffer significant consequences in external trade with the UK after Brexit, since it did not have extensive cooperation with Great Britain before, and the export of services, which value exceeds the value of exported goods, will continue as usual.
“It remains to be seen whether, after the split, Great Britain will maintain a position similar to the one it had when it was part of the EU or whether it will liberalize trade relations as it had previously announced without doing so,” said Nikolic.
Nikolic also underlined that the biggest Brexit-related risk for Serbia stems from the slowdown in the EU economy. Britain’s exit has led to a 15% drop in EU gross domestic product (GDP) and in some joint European projects, its share has been even more significant.
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According to the National Bank, last year Serbia exported to the UK services worth 552 million euro in 11 months and imported 273.7 million euro worth of services. Exports of services to the UK account for 9% of the total exports of services.
In 2019, Serbia exported 325.6 million euro worth of goods to Great Britain, with sales of car tyres worth around 74 million euros. Serbia also exported cables for aircraft, vehicles and ships worth around 52 million euro, followed by vehicle brake systems, medicines, various machines, aluminium containers, fans, machines and plastic products.
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