Serbia was hardly hit by the economic crisis in 2008 and is therefore seeking FDIs to recover. While the country is considered to be poor in terms of industrial plants, yet the industry has been one of the first sectors to be successful in ex-Yugoslavia. However, the chemical industry is slowly recovering and arouses the interest of industry manufacturer in the west.
Political and economic context
In fact, the situation is similar in all countries of the former Yugoslavia, between nostalgia of the great serbia where there was still work for everyone, and transition from a post-communist economy to a liberal economy. Feelings are therefore quite mixed, but in any case show symptoms of a dysfunctional economy. Accession to the European Union implied for Yugoslavs a step forward and in particular for Serbia. However, debt and inflation have plunged the Balkans: Even if Serbia manages to hold the inflation rate by 2.2%, Slovenia currently launches the privatization of its companies to bail out its banks, while north-western Bulgaria has become the poorest region of Europe. Although now independent from each other, we can not talk about the economy of a country of the former Yugoslavia, without mentioning its former members, since they still have a close relationship. Therefore, from the industry perspective, the situation remains very homogeneous: equipments are not modern enough, infrastructures quality is quite low and the unemployment rate remains very high. But let’s go back to the example of Serbia, which has a population of high average technical skills, that Western Europe quite envy, especially in the field of chemistry.
The chemical industry yesterday and today
The introduction of the chemical industry in Serbia started in the 18th and 19th century with the manufacture of gunpowder, candle wax, soap, paints, coatings and pharmaceuticals. The first Serbian explosives factory was founded in 1889 under the name of Obilićevo. Today, the company, now renamed, is one of the largest manufacturers of plastic products in the Balkans. The largest manufacturer of sanitary products was founded in 1839 by soap manufacturers Gligorije Jankovic. Now the company sells laundry detergents in the entire Southeast European market and the Middle East. The first Serbian factory for paints and coatings was founded in 1894 by Dimitrije Djoric, whose annual production amount to several hundreds of tons. The history of the Serbian chemical industry is therefore rich and has built its experience over several centuries.
As a consequence of the increase in demand for paints, adhesives and other chemicals of all kinds, the activity of the chemical industry shows since 2011a clear and steady rise. As a potential was noted in this area, investments should be made in the building of new infrastructures dedicated to chemistry, namely the isolation and chemicals. Serbia also has a great agricultural potential, therefore chemicals for the food industry should also benefit from the help of foreign investors.
Serbia now has to create strategic alliances to promote its chemical industry without being carrying the Yugoslav past can as burden as ex-members tend to form some a big coalition, which remains inconsistent with the economic requirements of Europe.