Chinese Investments in Serbia—A Joint Pledge for the Future of the New Silk Road

Duško Dimitrijević 1
  • 1 Institute of International Politics and Economics Makedonska 25, , Belgrade , Serbia


Following the political changes in 2000, Serbia has rapidly started to catch up with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in various aspects of the transition process. One of these very important aspects were foreign investments, both ‘direct’ and ‘portfolio’ ones, that had a significant impact on the development of Serbian economy by recovering economic structure and raising competitiveness in world markets, followed by improving the balance of payments and technological, scientific and managerial base. Foreign investments as an “economic engine” enable accelerated realization of national economic goals which include re-industrialization and renewal of industrial capacity. The openness of the Serbian market and the lack of financial resources allow China and other states concerned under favourable conditions invest in the development of Serbian economy. In this way, Chinese investments have become a driving force for the promotion of economic and other relations between the two countries. On the other hand, however, Chinese investments have proven to be an ideal test for the realization of the objectives of the development strategy of the ‘New Silk Road’ which among other things include the improvement of China’s position on world markets, including the EU market. For the proper understanding of Sino-Serbian relations, this study first gives a short explanation of the Chinese strategy of the New Silk Road. Then, it includes an analysis of Serbia’s position towards China. Analysis of the development of Serbian-Chinese economic relations, especially in the field of foreign investment and within the framework of multilateral cooperation mechanism ‘16+1’, occupies the central part of the study. The study concludes with an evaluation of comparative advantages and certain disadvantages for the Chinese foreign investment in Serbian economy, which in itself has certain significance for the realization of the New Silk Road strategy.

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