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The CEE region has reemerged as a leading location for manufacturing-oriented investment, capturing more than 50% of the jobs created. FDI projects in Serbia are among the most labor intensive in Europe, creating 132 jobs each on average Ernst & Young stated in the European attractiveness survey 2013. In 2012, FDI created 10,302 jobs which ranked Serbia 6th in Europe.

A wide availability with a unique combination of high quality and low costs makes Serbian workforce one of the key factors in reaching a strong business performance.

Educational centers in Serbia boast a well educated, fast learning, multilingual and IT-literate labor force. The labor supply in Serbia annually increases by approximately 35,000 universities and colleges’ graduates, 1,000 Masters of Science, 400 PhDs and 75,000 high school graduates which are sufficient to meet the growing demand of international companies. Of the total number of graduates, technical universities account for approximately 30%.

With an estimated 49% of the working population speaking English, Serbia is ranked 1st in the SEE region.

Management education has also been improved by the introduction of joint graduate and post-graduate courses organized by local universities and renowned Western business schools. In addition, there are also a significant number of Serbian experts, returning to the country after gaining top-quality expertise in international companies around the globe.

The labor market in Serbia has become truly vibrant as rising number of international investors have opened their businesses in the country. Nevertheless, the percentage of employees actively seeking a job change is 28%, which is lower than the most regional peers surveyed by GfK.

Combined with a high unemployment rate (23.1% in Oct 2012) this leads to low attrition rate and higher professional loyalty.

In Serbia, current gross minimal salary is around EUR 300, average gross blue collar salary EUR 412.5 and average gross white collar salary EUR 907.5 per month.

Non-Serbian Citizens Working in Serbia

Citizens of the EU member countries, EU membership candidate countries and a number of other countries such as Argentina, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and USA may travel and stay in Serbia for up to 90 days without a visa. Residents of other countries traveling to Serbia for business purposes or permanent employment may obtain a business visa which is valid for up to 1 year from a Serbian embassy abroad.

To start employment in Serbia, a foreigner must be granted the approval for temporary residence as well as the approval for employment.

Temporary residence can also be obtained on the basis of ownership over residential or business structure, professional specialization, training, engagement at NGOs, private visits, as well as to accredited journalists, officers of international institutions and university professors. Temporary residence may be approved for a period of up to one year and may be extended multiple times for the same duration.

Business Permits are issued to company founders, directors of companies with foreign shareholders, directors of representative offices, directors of banks, bank representative offices, insurance companies, and their representative offices. Work Permits are issued to all non-Serbian citizens looking to establish employment. A work permit is issued for a period of at least 3 months, but not more than 12 months. It always has the same validity period as the temporary residence permit. It can be renewed without any obstacles.
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