History of Serbia
Serbia was founded in the 18th century where it originated from Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was previously a combination of six republics namely Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzogovia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The word Serbia means the world or the land of southern Slavs. Apart from the dominant Serb tradition, the country also has other several national cultures such as Hungarian culture, which is highly populated in the northern region of Vojvodina. The southern part of Serbia is the province of Kosovo which is primarily dominated by Islamic culture and the Albanian. These two cultures highly bear remnants of the Turkish conquest that used to live in this region. The country got its first independence in 1166 and later established a kingdom system in the year 1217. Its independence was lost to the Ottoman Empire in 1459, (Peterson, 2007).
Turkish dominated Serbia until towards the 19th century. It was in 1804 when the Serbs with the help of Karageorge rebelled something that drove to his arrest and was taken to exile. The revolt of Milo Obrenovic that occurred in 1815, in the form of rival, enabled Serbia won and established Serbia limited autonomy. Serbia has engaged in different wars that made United Nations in 1992 impose some sanctions towards this country. All the sanctions were later lifted after the country went into a cease fire where Miloevi assumed the presidency of the country. Serbia and Montenegro had always worked and developed together until in 2006 when the citizens of Montenegro voted in a referendum in order to separate the two nations. The two nations declared their independence after their separation. Serbia is a landlocked nation in the Balkan peninsula of Eastern Europe which borders Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Serbian is the official language used in this country with a high percentage of 95%, (Djurdjev, 2012).
Economic Structure of Serbia
The economic structure of Serbia is mainly developed by agriculture (12.7% of GDP), industry (23.5% of GDP), and various services (63.8% of GDP). The country has a swift foreign direct investment trend that has allowed its economic growth in the past few years. Some of these direct foreign investment trends include Siemens, food and beverages industries (nestle, coca cola, Carlsberg), building material industry Lafarge, ICT industry Microsoft, textile industry (falc east, pompea, golden lady), and auto industry Fiat among others. In the past decade, the country has tirelessly worked to implement structural reforms in some of its economic areas. Statistics shows that the economic score of Serbia stands at 58.6 thus making it 94th in this year’s economic index. Although the country has been experiencing some progress in its economic development, research shows that the country operates below the world regional averages. These results from the lack of political will, which is required in order to bold institutional reforms. The aim of the institutional reform in this country is to reduce corruption, tackle bureaucracy, and strengthen a judicial system, (Anderson, 2011).
a) Chamber of Commerce
The chamber of commerce in this country is a responsible non budget institution, modern, and independent. It is the national association of all Serbian businesses and organizations that have a common goal. Its expertise, knowledge, experience, and tradition put in the best interest of the country’s economy and its members in all its operations. The chamber of commerce aids in establishing Serbia as a country recognizable by its open borders, market economy, and investment potential in order to prepare the country in becoming a highly competitive integrated nation in the European mainstream. For over a century and a half, the chamber of commerce of Serbia has operated under sixteen regional chamber commerce, nine representative offices abroad, Belgrade chamber of commerce and industry, and two principle chambers, (Stanojević & Batić, 2010).
Just like most countries in the world, Serbia has been a victim of inflation condition for many years. In July of 2013, Serbian inflation rate was recorded at 8.6 %. The country has experienced an average rate of 8.74 % since 2007. The inflation rate of Serbia is determined by the broad fall or rise in prices that consumers tend to pay for a standard basket of goods bought for their consumption.
Serbia experiences an increase in the unemployment rate daily. Research shows that over 500 people in Serbia become jobless every day. At the beginning of 2013, the unemployed population had jumped from 762, 000 people in December up to 790,000 people. Based on the European Commission report, the country is currently operating at an unemployment rate of 24 per cent. In a country of about 7 million people, the working population is estimated to be about 2.8 million people. The inflation rate in this country is measured by the number of those who are actively involved in job search as a percentage of the country’s labor force.
Although the country is experiencing economic development challenges, its exports have increased in the past years. In last year, Serbia’s Statistical Office, real GDP indicated that there was a growth in Serbia’s exports with a rose of 6 per cent. Serbia has experienced a slow growth in its trade as a result of high import and tariff restrictions. The wide spread corruption and non transparent regulations in Serbia economy have also played a part in the increase of cost of trade in this country. Government in this country has developed and established different measures in expanding trade of the country, (Cowan, 2009).
As exports of the country increased, so did, the imports increased. Serbia’s imports by 2012 rose by 4.1 per cent. Some of seasonal adjustments such as manufacturing enabled the country’s imports increase because of the demands of raw materials and expansion of new manufacturing plants. Motor vehicle imports contributed to the largest percentage of the country’s import in the past few years. The free trade agreement with Belarus has also played a major role in the country’s economic development. Serbia’s imports mainly come from Hungary, China, Italy, Germany, and Russia. The country is an importer of motor vehicles, equipments and machinery, basic metals, fuel and oil, and chemical products and chemicals, (Vucenovic, 2013).
Although Serbia is not a country that offers an easy place to do business, it has the best business opportunities due to its current market structure. Most foreign companies from different regions of the world are currently operating in Serbia because it acts as the convenient regional headquarters for central European operations.
a) Organizational & Business
The organization and business culture in Serbian environment is at an average. Most companies and firms in this country operate in an environment similar to most nations in the region. The rules and regulations developed for business operations are not strict and complex for investors to adopt and that is the main reason why the country has become of the few countries suitable for foreign investment. Managers in this country play a vital role in the business culture simply because they have the mandate of analyzing their firms and determine the position of the firm’s operations without involving any complex process and regulations, (Djurdjev, 2012).
Serbian art refers to the arts that are associated to Serbia and Serbs. There are different types of cultures and arts that define the Serbian art. There are three main categories of Serbian arts namely the medieval visual arts (Ecclestical art and Ecclestical monuments), visual arts in early modern Serbia, and the modern visual arts. Medieval visual arts were developed between 7th and 9th centuries after the country converted to Christianity. Some of the arts during this time include dormition of Virgin Mary, Assumption of Mary, and Christ Carrying the Cross Fresco. They were all developed in 14th century. The visual arts in early modern Serbia came around 15th century and reflected the tradition of Serbia. The modern visual arts occurred after the resurgence in Serbian art in the 19th century, (Anderson, 2011).
Serbian culture offers the richest form of entertainment classified in different categories for different sets of people. The country has a great variety of cultural events that reflect the spiritual wealth and vibrant creative force of the nation. Numerous theaters in the country make it easy for people to have suitable entertainment environment. Serbia offers the best and delicious foods that form part of the nation entertainment. In Serbia, one has the opportunity to taste some of the tradition made delicious food stuffs. It is with no doubt that there are a couple of places worth visiting when in Serbia, (SindbÆk, 2009).
Serbian dance is one of the best forms of dance in the world. The dance in this country is among the core aspects that contribute to the country’s culture. It is a strong element and an old tradition value that has been practiced by different culture in Serbia. Hora or Oro, Cocek, and Kolo are part of the dance styles practiced by different cultures. The country uses traditional dances in order to bring families together, for social functions, and in different important days such as Easter, Christmas, weddings, funeral, and national days, (Tanjug, 2013).
United States and Serbia have established bilateral relations that its governments have agreed. These bilateral relations were established in the year 1882. From 1918 up to date, US have maintained its relations with Serbia and recognize it as a legal state successor of the nation even after the referendum result rejection by some nations. Based on the US global leadership report of 2012, Serbia scores 20% approve of US leadership, 57 per cent disapproving, and 22 per cent uncertain something that makes the country stand at 5th lowest in a survey of any European country, (Bogdan et al., 2011).
Serbia and EU have good bilateral relations that have enabled Serbia develops and grow in different dimensions. The relation was formed in 1999 when Serbia was introduced in Stabilization and Association Process. The country has signed free trade agreements with Balkan countries, European Union, and Russia something that assists the country in its operations.
c) Former Yugoslavia Countries
The country maintained high bilateral relations with former Yugoslavia countries from 1918 to 2006. It was until Serbia got its full independence after entering into a referendum with Montenegro in order to split the two states. United States with other countries considers Serbia as the legal successor of the state although there are other countries and nations that claim that Serbia got its independence in an illegal manner, (Rozman & Rozman, 2010).
Study shows that the EU integration of Serbia will take another ten years. This is according to the draft complied on the EU accession process for western Balkan countries which include Serbia. The concept of enlargement enthusiasm affects the Serbian EU integration because of the drop that comes from crisis in the eurozone. France and Germany, which are members of European Union, have pointed out that Serbia and other countries are insufficient mature candidates to join the Union. Some member countries are experiencing and facing risks of state bankruptcy thus the EU reputation drops, (Brin, 2013).
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