By Daria Sito-Sucic
SARAJEVO (Reuters) – As provide chain disruptions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine and lockdowns in China strike Western European marketplaces, Balkan businesses are hoping to benefit from their close proximity and low labour expenses.
Some firms at a Sarajevo company forum devoted to “near-shoring” – partnerships closer to house as opposed to in marketplaces 1000’s of miles away – reported on Thursday desire from their European partners has been on rise in the past calendar year.
German-owned business GS-TMT in the central Bosnian city of Travnik is opening a new plant to meet up with an improved need for their mechanical parts and electrical bikes from prospective buyers in Germany and Austria.
The growth of the business, which employs 462 personnel, fell 16% in 2020 all through the coronavirus pandemic but rose 32% final yr and is expected to increase a different 42% in 2022, with revenues approximated at more than 60 million Bosnian marka ($32.4 million), CEO Snjezana Kopruner instructed Reuters.
“A motive for the rise of our revenues is that we took around the creation of component of products that experienced been produced in China,” Kopruner said.
A the latest survey of German employers confirmed they viewed as the Western Balkan nations, which includes Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, as fascinating investment locations because of to very low labour costs and taxes and geographical place, Sophia Kluge of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce explained.
“The Western Balkans as a European location is as shut as it can be,” Kluge reported.
She reported German companies, although citing infrastructure, governance and political instability as worries, have also stressed so-called “cultural proximity” and their constructive working experience with employees from the area.
“It was that intestine emotion that was decisive for some to pick the location for their expenditure,” she reported.
Ekrem Turajlic, a director at Bosnia’s greatest prescription drugs firm, Bosnalijek, which exports predominantly to Russia, the Middle East and the Balkans, was also optimistic about increasing a community of European potential buyers.
“We are looking at definitely additional desire from European customers to convert to suppliers who are nearer than Asia,” Turajlic claimed.
Martin Grabe of Germany Trade & Spend said the Western Balkan nations around the world had been frequently viewed as secure but that they had to obviously pick out the path they will consider and whether or not they will work in direction of integration into the European Union.
(14 = 1.853 Bosnian marka)
(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic Editing by Alison Williams)