Access to loans and EU funding was the focus of the new meeting promoted by Italian Ambassador Carlo Lo Cascio with more than 80 Italian companies operating in Serbia, the Italian trade Agency ICE, Confindustria Serbia and the Italian-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, with the aim of facilitating a direct interface between the offer of banks and the demand of our enterprises. The representatives of the EIB, EBRD, Unicredit, and Banca Intesa illustrated European and international financing instruments to the Italian companies that locally employ 25,000 people, with a specific focus on their customers and SMEs.
In the first seven months of 2018, trade between Italy and Serbia amounted to 3 billion Euros, with a rise of more than 10% in both Italian imports and exports compared with the same period of 2017. “This encouraging trend – said Ambassador Lo Cascio – should enable us to reach and, for the first time, exceed the record amount of 4 billion euros in traded volumes by the end of this year.” In macroeconomic terms, Serbia appears to be “in good health”: GDP is forecast to grow by more than 4% this year, the rate of inflation is stable at around 2% and industrial production is growing 3.7% compared to last year.
Ambassador Lo Cascio emphasised that SMEs are the driving force of Italy’s economy and that their presence in Serbia contributes to outline a sustainable growth model based on the combined effects of large corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises.