countryaah, Serbia's economy is still characterized by the war
situation in the 1990s and the NATO bombing in 1999, which
helped to weaken the country's economy. From 2000, a
comprehensive market reform program was implemented in
Serbia. The government has pursued a strict fiscal policy
that has helped stabilize the economy. Successful banking
reforms have also been implemented. The privatization
process has come a long way and investments from abroad are
increasing. However, Serbia faces significant economic
challenges: high unemployment, lack of expertise,
technological backlog in industry, inefficient companies and
lack of investment.
Gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 1.9 per cent in
2017, against 2.8 per cent in 2016. GDP per capita was USD
15,100 in 2017, compared with 14,700 in 2016.
On average, 8.9 percent of the population lives below the
poverty line. The distinction between city and country is
wide. It is the southern and southeastern parts of Serbia
that have the highest poverty, while Vojvodina in the north
and Belgrade have the fewest poverty.
19.4 per cent of the working population is employed in
agriculture, which accounts for 9.8 per cent of the
country's GDP (2017).
Serbia has a long growing season and about half of the
total land area is cultivated land or pasture. The most
important crops are maize, wheat, sugar beets and potatoes.
Growing fruit (plums, grapes) and vegetables is also
important. There is considerable animal husbandry,
especially of sheep and cattle. Most of the country's grain
production takes place in Vojvodina.
Energy and mining
Serbia has rich mineral resources, and the mining sector
was less affected than other sectors of the war. The most
important minerals extracted are coal (mainly lignite),
copper ore and bauxite, while there are minor deposits of
iron ore, crude oil, zinc and petroleum.
41.1 per cent of the working population is employed in
the industrial sector, which contributes to 24.5 per cent of
the country's GDP (2017).
The areas around Belgrade have the bulk of the industry.
The iron and steel industry, the machine industry, the
cellulose and rubber industry, the electrical and chemical
industry are the most important sectors.
Transport and Communications
During the NATO bombing in 1999, many of the bridges over
the Danube were destroyed, and hit, among other things, the
connection between Belgrade and Novi Sad. However, several
of the bridges were quickly reopened.
In Serbia there are 22 240 km of roads. 28,000 km of
roads have a fixed tire. Of these, 741 km are motorways. The
railway network is 3 809 km. Inland waterways amount to 589
km (2015). Most important of the waterways is the Danube
with the river ports of Belgrade and Novi Sad. There are
international airports at Belgrade, Kraljevo, Niš, Vršac and
From 1992 to 1995, the UN Security Council adopted
extensive financial sanctions against the then Yugoslavia.
During this period, virtually all foreign trade was halted,
and this had serious consequences for Serbia's economy.
Since the sanctions were lifted, foreign trade has gradually
Serbia's exports amounted to USD 15.92 billion in 2017,
while imports amounted to USD 20.44 billion. With this, the
country had a deficit in the foreign trade balance of USD
The five most important export markets (2017) are:
- Italy(13.5 percent)
- Germany(12.8 percent)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina(8.2 percent)
- Russia(6.0 percent)
- Romania(4.9 percent)
Important export goods are cars, iron and steel,
clothing, wheat, fruits and vegetables, metals, electrical
products, weapons and ammunition.
The five most important markets for Serbia's imports
- Germany (12.7 percent)
- Italy (10.0 percent)
- Russia (7.3%)
- Hungary(4.9 percent)
Important import goods are machinery and transport
equipment, fuels, chemicals, raw materials and foods.