World Bank held a conference in Thessaloniki-Greece on the 20th of December, where important reports around the future of investments on the Western Balkans was made public.
According to the World Bank the prospects are bright for the region that saw its Foreign Direct Investments increase by 50% from 2002 to 2005. Also for 2007 the GDP increase for the are is calculated at around 6%.
The main advantages according to the Bank are:
Low labor costs
Entrance of Romania-Bulgaria to the EU
Closeness of the Balkans to the expanding markets of Russia-Ukraine and Central Europe (Over 300 million consumers)
Gradual stabilization of the political & social climate
Stable macroeconomic figures
Human resources specialized in electronics, sciences and medicine
The reports around individual countries for the region, were as follows:
In this country 1 billion Euro have been invested since 2001 mainly in industry and minerals. One of the advantages for investors is the richeness of the country on herbs (30% of the European herbs species) and the very low labor costs.
This state saw 1.5 billion Euro of investments since 2001. The bulk of them was in the industrial sector and banking services. For the future the World Bank predicts increase in the automobile industry , as well as, in the industry related to wood (The country is 40% forested)
According to the World Bank there are considerable prospects in the fields of tourism , metal production and plastic industry. Since 2001 6.8 billion Euro have been invested in banks, telecommunications and pharmaceutical sector mostly.
The FDI since 2001, is up to 900 million Euro, mainly in telecommunications, metals, and oil refineries. The World Banks points out to the opportunities investing in Food and Beverages, telecommunications and informatics.
This country recently became independent and its FDI since 2001 can generally be accounted for 600 million Euro mostly in real estate projects and minerals. There are bright prospects according tot he Bank for tourism and organic farming.
Serbia attracted 3.8 billion Euro since 2001(The second largest share) mostly for the banking system, commerce and industry. Its GDP is currently increase with the fastest pace in the region-9%-.
For the future the World Bank is optimistic for investments in the Food and Beverages sector (Currently expanding 40% a year), high technology (Expanding 18%), transportation and furniture production.