Serbia: Economic Overview

Serbia's robust economy will be hampered by several headwinds in 2022 |  Credendo

Serbia is a popular destination, and many people choose it to live and work. The country has created excellent business conditions, which attracted entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world. Major European, American, and Chinese investments are here, and they contribute a lot to the country’s economic development. What is more, you can easily obtain a residence permit here, which appeals to many people. There is no fast-track path to Serbian citizenship, and you can only follow the process of naturalization: obtain a residence permit, then permanent residence, and finally a passport. The whole process takes 7-10 years on average. However, Serbia is planning to join the EU in 2025, and you may get an EU passport in the end, which is a good reason for many people to choose Serbia.

If you need additional information about this truly recommendable jurisdiction, read much more on our portal devoted entirely to Serbia. We deal with business, banking, asset protection, tax optimization, real estate purchase, and other matters that may be of use to you. Book a free session with our expert to discuss your needs, preferences, and circumstances, and get professional advice. We will help you with company setup or opening a bank account at an affordable fee and provide you support with purchasing real estate. Simply click on the link and get in touch!

Serbian Economy: What Sectors Are Growing Fast?

The number of people who applied for work/residence permits in Serbia amounted to 15,000 in March 2023, and the number of tourists who visited Serbia increased by 20% as compared to the previous year. As for the unemployment rate, it decreased by 2.9%.

Let’s look at the employment spheres that showed the most noticeable growth in 2023:

  • Professional services, technology, and science
  • Automotive/motorcycle repairs
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Wholesale and retail
  • Administrative and auxiliary services

The volume of foreign trade rose by 1.7%, and the number of trade agreements has shown the same growth indicators as in the previous years.

Serbian Salaries in 2023

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Serbia currently amounts to 230 dinars (2 euros) per hour after taxes. This is much lower than in well-developed states (for instance, 12 euros in Germany). Full-time work will yield you 40,020 dinars (340 euros) a month. Of course, this is a very small amount if we look at the minimum market basket that costs 430 euros in Serbia.

Average Wage

The average wage in Serbia amounts to 114,228 dinars (975 euros) a month before taxes and 82,769 dinars (705 euros) after taxes. The figure shows a 16.7% increase as compared to the previous year.

Salaries by Industry

The income you can make in Serbia depends on the industry you work in (much like in any country). Let’s look at how much a hired employee can get (self-employed people in the same industry can earn much more):

  • Extraction of mineral resources – 166,427 dinars (1,420 euros)
  • Information technologies – 270,719 dinars (2,310 euros)
  • Finance and insurance – 169,500 dinars (1,445 euros)
  • Supply of electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning – 146,976 dinars (1,255 euros)
  • Professional, technical, and scientific activities – 149,201 dinars (1,270 euros)
  • Real estate transactions – 108,389 dinars (925 euros)
  • Medicine – 120,906 dinars (1,030 euros)
  • Water supply, sewage, and waste management – 99,350 dinars (845 euros)
  • Primary, secondary, and tertiary education, private tutors – 104,858 dinars (895 euros)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation – 95,898 dinars (820 euros)
  • Production – 97,101 dinars (830 euros)
  • Wholesale and retail – 95,026 dinars (810 euros)
  • Transport and storage – 95,037 dinars (810 euros)
  • Fishery, agriculture, and forestry – 91,556 dinars (780 euros)

Let’s also take a look at the taxes you have to pay and the unemployment level:

  • The unemployment level in Serbia ranges between 8% and 10%.
  • The personal income tax in Serbia is progressive, and it ranges between 10% and 20%.
  • There are about 800,000 people in Serbia who are officially registered as unemployed, and almost 50% of young people cannot find good jobs.

Main Reasons for Relocation to Serbia

If you compare Serbia to other EU countries, it is obvious that the level of income is lower here. Still, it offers some tangible advantages to potential immigrants:

  • You can easily obtain a residence permit in Serbia if you buy real estate in the country. The good news is that there is no lower threshold set, so you can buy the property at any price (and prices in Serbia start at 10,000 US dollars).
  • The residents of most countries can enter Serbia on a visa-free basis and can stay in the country for quite a long time.
  • The cost of living in the Balkan country is not very high, so you will not find life here difficult if you have a good job or a business in the country.
  • Business immigration is open not only to wealthy entrepreneurs but also to freelancers who work on a remote basis.
  • The local residents are very friendly to foreigners, and they are ready to cooperate with you no matter what country you come from.
  • Serbia is a country that boasts well-developed banking and IT sectors.
  • The business environment in Serbia is very comfortable. If you are a highly skilled specialist or a talented entrepreneur, you are sure to earn a decent living here.

As regards the unemployment in Serbia, the rate may seem quite high. However, if you look at the statistics, you may find the countries that offer a higher income, but the unemployment rate is comparable to Serbia. 

Serbia: Income Category

You probably know that the World Bank publishes a report on Gross National Income that divides the countries into four categories:

  • Low GNI
  • GNI below average
  • GNI above average
  • High GNI

Serbia is a country with a GNI above average (this category includes the countries with an income per capita ranging between 4,256 and 13,205 US dollars a year), and it has such neighbors as Georgia, Belize, Thailand, Northern Macedonia, Turkey, Montenegro, Marshall Islands, and others.

Anyway, the economic potential of Serbia is very high, and this is the opinion shared by the Serbian authorities, the IMF, the World Bank, and other economic and financial organizations.

Want to discover the country in more detail? Please follow the above link to explore our portal or get in touch with our expert to get professional assistance!

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