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Milos Srejic Regional Director at CA Immo Serbia:

Recovery of the Real Estate Sector in Serbia will not be so fast

24. June 2011. | 12:04

Source: Serbia-business.com

Serbia Business explores the competitiveness of Doing Business in Serbia presenting CA Immo Serbia with investment above 100mil Euro in real estate projects, one of the leading RE foreign investors in Serbia.

Serbia-business.eu: Ca Immo is one of the leading Austrian Real Estate firms operating in Serbia. Can you tell us more about current situation of the Real Estate sector in Serbia?
CA Immo is present on the Serbian RE market as of 2007. At this moment we have 2 prominent office buildings: Sava Business Center and Belgrade Office Park. With investment above 100mil Euro in real estate projects we are among leading RE foreign investors in Serbia.
We are very happy with our tenants who choose our buildings, showing that modern office space is really necessary. I would like to mentioned just few of them: Piraeus Bank, VIP Mobile, Credit Agricole Bank, Pepsi, Nokia Siemens, Ericsson and others.

Serbia-business.eu: You developed and operate Sava Business Centre, hight tech office space in new Belgrade area, can you tell us more about the project development, problems and incentives during the construction?
It is very hard to work when you have unclear Laws, bunch of them, different interpretations from different state administration. Maybe the best illustration is that city building land tax when we acquire Sava Business Center was 0.4 euro/m for net usable area, today after we finished building, city building land tax is 1.8 euro/m for gross area. Overall increase is almost 6 time. We hope that state will find solution that landlord do not pay property tax, land lease and city building land tax.

Serbia-business.eu: Do you plan to continue RE development projects in Serbia? What is the perspective of that business area in the future?
CA Immo is present on the market and will continue to monitor development of economical situation and real estate sector. Real Estate sector is strongly connected with real economy situation, especially commercial properties. Real Estate sector also highly depends on financial market and stability of the country. We believe that things will be better in coming period and that the hardest period for Serbian RE market passed away. But recovery will not be so fast!

Serbia-business.eu: In your opinion what does Serbia actually can offer to Austrian companies coming here, is Serbia attractive enough for SEE regional market development?
In my point of view and trough statistical researches Serbia is missing apartments, shopping centers, logistic centers and maybe not at the moment but in a long run modern office space too. There is also great number of infrastructure works which should be done. So here is big potential and investment climate depend on Serbia too. All countries are fighting for foreign investors and Serbia has to continue to be aggressive, but also more readable and reliable toward foreign investors, local too.
SEE region was hit by crises stronger than the rest of Europe, of course it depends from country to country. Taking whole into account I think that Serbia had less problems then some neighboring countries and that Government in general is handling situation not so bad, taking into account available resources.

Serbia-business.eu: How do you evaluate the competitiveness of Serbia as potential destination for investors, will EU integration and future membership change something in that aspect?
EU Integration will for sure help Serbia to stabilize economy and maybe to boost it. Economical growth is always followed by RE investments.

Serbia-business.eu: Serbia is identified by many investors as Emerging market and Sourcing| Outsource location, what would be your message coming from years of experience in doing business in Serbia and obviously from examples of best practice ?
Serbia is not among high developed countries but Serbia is quite comparable with other countries in the region, and we have to be aware that comparing with the countries in region Serbia had quite modest support from international community. There are still many chances for Serbia but they should not be missed


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