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Serbia leads global greenfield investment index – FT report

Serbia has led a global greenfield foreign direct investment index compiled by fDi Intelligence, a data division of the Financial Times, the London-based newspaper reported on Thursday.

Serbia’s “otherwise disappointing economic performance” has been outweighed by regulatory reform, low labour costs and access to the EU single market, the Financial Times said.

Serbia scored 12.02 in the index, which measures the appeal of countries as destinations for greenfield FDI relative to their GDP.

Another country in the region of Southeast Europe, Macedonia, ranked third with 9.18 points, the FT noted.

The number of greenfield projects in Serbia announced by foreign investors rose to 77 last year from 57 in 2015, and 53% of them were in manufacturing, primarily in electronic components and car parts, followed by real estate and textiles, the Financial Times said.

“Most investors are attracted to Serbia as an export platform rather than as a market in its own right,” the newspaper added.

The net inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Serbia rose to 1.861 billion euro ($2.205 billion) in 2016, from 1.804 billion euro in the previous year, official figures from the country’s statistical office show.