Serbia’s free trade agreements with Turkey and Russia creates a golden opportunity

Balkans.com Business News

Serbia’s free trade agreements with Turkey and Russia creates a golden opportunity

Balkans.com Business News Correspondent

8 August 2013

Most people are aware of Serbia’s free trade agreement but what is less known is Serbia’s free trade agreement with Turkey. Free trade agreements also exist between Kazakhstan, Belarus, CEFTA, EFTA, European Union and the USA.

"We are helping a lot of companies expand and establish their presence in Serbia due to the favorable business environment which is enhanced with Turkish and Russian free trade agreements" says Manos Ioannidis, co-founder of Balkans.com, "Not only do these lucrative free trade agreements exist but also Serbia has a favorable corporate tax rate, skilled workforce, tax incentives and low electricity costs making it the perfect business environment for companies."

Since 2000, Serbia has attracted nearly $25 billion of inward foreign direct investment. Although Serbia has a small population of approx 8 million, it is a geographically preferred location with its close proximity to Albania, Montenegro, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary and Turkey. Other benefits include being centrally located on the Danube easily reaching countries by barge such as Austria, Slovakia, Germany, Moldova and Ukraine.

Serbia is the only country outside of the Commonwealth of Independent States that enjoys a free trade agreement with Russia. The Free Trade Agreement with Russian Federation, signed in August 2000, makes Serbia particularly attractive to foreign investors in the manufacturing sector. The Agreement stipulates that goods produced in Serbia, i.e. which have at least 51% value added in the country, are considered of Serbian origin and exported to Russian Federation customs free. For exports to Russian Federation, the FORM CT2 Certificate is required as a proof of goods origin. The only tariff charged is the customs record keeping tariff, amounting to a 1% value. The list of products, excluded from the Free Trade Agreement, is revised annually. In 2011, the list of excluded products was extended to the following goods: poultry and edible waste, some sorts of cheese, white sugar, sparkling wine, ethyl-alcohol, cigars and cigarettes, cotton yarn and fabric, special woven fabrics, some types of compressors, tractors and new and used passenger cars.

Trade between Serbia and Turkey is regulated upon the model implemented in trade with the European Union. Industrial products originating in Serbia can be exported to Turkey without paying customs duties. Imports of industrial products into Serbia are generally customs-free, but for a large number of goods customs duties will be progressively abolished over a six-year period, ending in 2015. For trade in agricultural products customs duties remain in effect, with certain Most Favored Nation reductions for a number of products. SIEPA

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