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Austrian Investors Eye Serbia and Albania

Austrian businesses are increasingly looking to invest and operate in the Western Balkans, with a particular focus on Serbia and Albania

This was announced by Marko Čadež, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, during the annual “Austrian Export Day” event in Vienna, organized by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

Čadež revealed plans for the establishment of a joint exhibition space—the “showroom” of Western Balkan economies in Vienna. This space will showcase the region’s economies, projects, products, and services. He highlighted that for the first time, the Western Balkans are at the forefront of Austrian business interests, particularly in Serbia and Albania, the two most significant markets in the region.

Addressing the gathering, which included representatives of Austrian diplomacy who promote Austrian businesses globally, Čadež emphasized the substantial potential and business opportunities the region offers. He noted that the political and economic stability of the entire region hinges significantly on the relations between Serbia and Albania.

“Serbia and Albania are in focus because they are the two largest markets and the fastest-growing economies in the region. The overall stability of the region depends on the relationship between Serbs and Albanians. We must engage in dialogue,” Čadež asserted.

He added that Serbia and Albania have robust economic ties, indicating that their inclusion in Austrian business plans is a positive sign. “This is a unique opportunity to demonstrate investment possibilities and present joint projects in the Western Balkans,” he said.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia is working towards opening a shared space in Vienna for the six Western Balkan economies to better represent their economic potentials. Čadež expressed optimism that this initiative would soon result in a well-established space in Vienna that will operate year-round, promoting the region’s products, services, and economies effectively.

Čadež also spoke about the “Open Balkan” initiative, which aims to bring regional economies closer together. This initiative, along with other regional projects, has garnered significant interest, particularly for joint work permits. He noted that any initiative that integrates and unifies the regional market is of interest to Austria and that the joint space in Vienna will enhance access to the Austrian market for local companies.

Despite the slowdown in the German economy, there is considerable interest from German and Austrian companies in opening production plants or regional offices in Serbia. Čadež attributed this to logistical restructuring, which involves shortening supply chains in global trade and relocating production from Asia. This trend, he believes, is a positive sign for Serbia, as European firms seek to bring production closer to the European continent.

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