“I am proud that one of the world’s five largest banks is coming to Serbia and that the briefness of the period in which the preliminary license was given says a lot about this bank and its cooperation with the Central Bank of Serbia.”

This was proudly announced by Jorgovanka Tabakovic, the governor of Central Bank of Serbia during a press conference as he broke the news of Bank of China finally getting its preliminary license to start operating in Serbia at the beginning of 2017.

Bank of China is considered as the world’s fifth largest bank based on total assets. It made its initial application to open an office last June 2016 and will be fully registered and licensed early this January 2017, making Serbia the first Balkan country to host one of the world’s largest bank.

Other Balkan countries together with Greece, can soon consider the bank’s office in Serbia as the main hub for conducting business. Several long-term projects in the field of industry and infrastructure investments have already been planned between China and Serbia, strengthening the influence of the prior country to the latter.
 Specific investment in the modernization of the steelworks in Smederevo was one of the deals that were concluded on 2016, between the Serbian government and He Steel company. Also made was the deal to construct a fast rail link between Belgrade and Budapest as was confirmed by the Chinese, Serbian and Hungarian authorities last November 2016.

Initially, Bank of China will only serve Chinese and Serbian Companies while at the outset. However, it was announced by a Serbian economist, Ljubisa Savic that, “in a few years or sooner, it will probably start to work with the public as well”.

Also said by Savic to Tanjug news agency, that funding investments of Bank of China in Serbia is eyeing about $1.7 billion worth of projects which will make Beijing’s presence in the country even stronger.


Petros Stathis