Serbia flag Serbia: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Serbia

Foreign Trade in Figures

Serbia is gradually becoming more open to international trade, which represents 104.9% of GDP (World Bank, latest data available). The Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia and the steady growth of foreign direct investment inflows have led to a constant increase in the volume of foreign trade. Serbia's negotiations with the WTO are in an advanced state. The country’s main exports are insulated electric conductors (7.2%), tyres (3.5%), maize and corn (3.4%), and electric motors and generators (2.5%); whereas imports are led by medicaments (4.1%), petroleum oils (3.2%), petroleum gases (1.9%), telephones, and motor vehicles (1.8% each).

The country's main customers are Germany (12.9%), Italy (8.4%), Bosnia-Herzegovina (7.1%), and Romania (6.5%). Its main suppliers are Germany (13.6%), China (12.5%), Italy (8.4%) and Russia (6%). Serbia is the largest Western Balkan trade partner of the European Union.

Serbia has a structural trade deficit that amounted to 8.3% of GDP in 2020, according to the World Bank. A large portion of the deficit is due to investment-related imports. Exports of merchandise were stable at USD 19.5 billion in 2020, the same as for imports which stood at USD 26.2 billion. In the same year, Serbia exported USD 7 billion worth of services, importing USD 5.7 billion. According to figures from the Serbian statistical office, in 2021 the country's exports grew by 31% to USD 25.563 billion, while imports went up by 29% to USD 33.797 billion. As a result, Serbia's foreign trade deficit went up 18% on the year to USD 8.233 billion in 2021.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 19,23021,94725,88226,73026,233
Exports of Goods (million USD) 14,85216,99619,22719,63019,498
Imports of Services (million USD) 4,0824,7995,9096,5695,758
Exports of Services (million USD) 5,0665,9407,1267,7457,042

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 101.9107.5109.5112.1104.9
Trade Balance (million USD) -3,450-4,533-5,983-6,289-5,967
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -2,447-3,435-4,813-5,159-4,734
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 7.011.110.810.7-3.5
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 12.08.27.57.7-5.9
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 53.357.159.161.056.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 48.550.550.451.048.0

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 19.36.75.95.95.9
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 15.17.06.25.86.1

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
In international trade, Serbia shows a preference for relations with the EU and the United States. Nevertheless, the Serbian government also wants to develop privileged relations with its neighbors as proved by the bilateral treaties signed with Bulgaria and Romania. A free trade agreement has been signed as well with Belarus (2009) and Russia(2001).
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
Germany 12.9%
Italy 8.4%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 7.1%
Romania 6.5%
Hungary 4.7%
See More Countries 60.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
Germany 13.6%
China 12.5%
Italy 8.4%
Russia 6.0%
Hungary 5.0%
See More Countries 54.5%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

19.5 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Insulated incl. enamelled or anodised wire, cable...Insulated incl. enamelled or anodised wire, cable incl. coaxial cable and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors; optical fibre cables, made-up of individually sheathed fibres, whether or not assembled with electric conductors or fitted with connectors 7.2%
New pneumatic tyres, of rubberNew pneumatic tyres, of rubber 3.5%
Maize or cornMaize or corn 3.4%
Electric motors and generators (excl. generating...Electric motors and generators (excl. generating sets) 2.5%
Fruit and nuts, uncooked or cooked by steaming or...Fruit and nuts, uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water, frozen, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter 2.5%
See More Products 80.9%
26.2 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 4.1%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 3.2%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 1.9%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 1.8%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 1.8%
See More Products 87.2%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

0.1 bn USD of services exported in 2018
24.82%
22.78%
22.14%
17.74%
5.03%
3.77%
1.99%
0.85%
0.52%
0.19%
0.17%
0.1 bn USD of services imported in 2018
28.51%
25.20%
19.91%
8.43%
5.68%
5.04%
2.35%
1.65%
1.10%
1.10%
1.02%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: July 2022

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