Whatever the product - knitwear, luxury shirts, jeans, or leather - chances are, Serbian manufacturers
can deliver it to you faster and better than the competition.
Serbian apparel makers offer fast service, low minimal orders, 24-hour shipping to most European
destinations and superb quality.
Find out for yourself why companies like Gucci, Hugo Boss, Benetton, Tommy Hilfiger, Zara, Mango
and others decided Serbia was the right place to do business.
relevance of the garment sector
The garment industry plays an important role in Serbia’s economy due to the fact that there are 20,216 people employed in 1085 companies in the garment subsector.Close to 800 companies can be classified as micro companies,
employing less than 10 people. More than 300 companies are considered as small to medium size companies, employing between 10 and
Strong tradition of textile manufacturing and
exports in Serbia yielded business minded
companies with highly skilled employees.
Companies have proven experience in
maintaining customer relations and meeting
customer requirements based on the
This is evidenced by stable number of employees in the industry in the period 2010-2011, following the initial contraction in 2010, despite of global economic downturn (see Graph 1).
The garment manufacturers are producing and exporting garments for men, women and children. They are
offering the whole palette of t-shirts, under- and nightwear followed by light confection as jackets, blazers,
trousers, dresses and skirts. Not to forget shirts and blouses and the quite important denim jeans production.
Following areas are known for big production volumes in following sub-product ranges:
The town Ada is situated in North Serbia (Voivodina Province) close to the Hungarian border. The garment
producers are usually small and medium-size family owned businesses, focusing on knitwear.
Arilje is a town in Western Serbia, in the Zlatibor District. About 100 companies operate in the apparel sector,
particularly underwear, T-shirts and sweat suits.
Novi Pazar is a city and municipality located in Southwest Serbia, in the Raska District, on the border with
Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The economy of the region is dominated by apparel industry.
Textile industry in Novi Pazar is specialized in full package production of denim products and offers large
capacity and service sewing.
production cycles and services
Production cycles offered include CM/CMT, OEM and ODM. 10% of the Serbian SMEs produce their own brand
and are well established in the local market and exports. An additional 20% offer collections for the local market
only and 70% produce CM/CMT and OEM.
subcontracting costs (eur/minute)
Regional free trade agreement (CEFTA) was ratified by Serbia in 2007, integrating the countries of the South
East Europe, thus creating a possibility for companies to place their goods customs free to a market of close to
30 million people (current CEFTA members include the region of former Yugoslavia excluding Slovenia, Albania
and Moldavia; Romania and Bulgaria left CEFTA upon joining EU since this is required by EU rules).
Serbia has free trade agreements with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkey, as well as EFTA (Liechtenstein,
Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland) and is a member of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).
exports of textile,
leather and garment products
According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, the export of textile, garments, leather and
footwear, reached 944 mil USD in 2012.
While there was a downturn in 2009 and 2010, the export levels sharply increased back to 2008 level showing
strength and flexibility of Serbian textile industry (see Graph 2).
Highest percentage of exports is gained
through export of shoes (26%) followed
by exports of integral parts used in the
textile production made of textile (25%).
Men and women coats represent
significant export group with 15% for
textile made and 5% for knitted products.
Garment exports take up 10% share in the total exports, while three product groups leather and fur; yarns, fiber
and fabrics; and finished textile products and floor covers take up 6% each. Finally all other products add up to
3% of exports.
Major export markets, Italy and Germany, absorb around 50% and annual value of nearly half billion USD of
exports in the last three years repeatedly (2010-2012). These figures show stable cooperation and clients’
Other key export markets such as Slovenia, BiH, Montenegro, Russia, France and Austria total to another 30%
share in the Serbian exports. (See Graph 3)
Significant growth can be noted in exports to Slovenian market with its 270% growth over three year period and
Russian and Romanian markets with 120% growth.
exports of garments in 2012
leather and garment products
In 2012, $ 251.6 Million of garments and $ 411.2 Million of textile products were exported.
Export and Import (in mil USD);
Source: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia
Serbia also appears to be improving its comparative advantage relative to the EU market: in the past few years
the RCA [revealed comparative advantage] has gradually increased, indicating that garment manufacturing firms
are taking advantage to supply European markets.”
Top five export destinations for garments (HS Code 61 Jersey / HS Code 62 Woven) are:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- The Netherlands.
Export of the textile industry per country
January - December 2012 (Source: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia)
Top five exported products from Serbia are:
- Panty hose, tights, stockings & other hosiery, knitted or crocheted
- Men's suits, jackets, trousers etc & shorts
- T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted
- Women's suits, jackets, dresses skirts etc. shorts
- Women's slips, panties, pyjamas, bathrobes etc, knitted/crocheted
There are significant capacities in production of certain raw materials and other integral parts for textile
- cotton fabrics, different types of yarns, fiber and fabrics
- integral parts of the textile products (labels, shoulder pads, other)
On the other hand, insufficient capacity in production of yarns, fiber and different types of fabrics is compensated
with imports from China, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Slovenia.
Due to the complexity and variety of materials and parts integrated into textile products, a number of products
that belong under category of integral parts of textile products are also imported from Italy, China, Germany
The most significant imports originate from Italy (28.3%, 311 mill USD), China (19.7%, 217 mill USD), Turkey
(10.5, 116 mill USD) and some extent Germany (6.4%, 70 mill USD).
The leading import countries are mainly sources of
- Shoes, clothes, integral parts of textile products, laces, ribbons and leather (Italy),
- Clothes, shoes, bags, different kinds of fabrics, yarns and fiber (China),
- Yarns, fibers and fabrics (Turkey) and
- Yarns and fabrics (Germany)
Other imports are distributed among higher number of importing countries with a maximum percentage being
3.1%. Some leading import countries from this group are Romania, India, Slovenia, Belgium and Vietnam. (2012)
foreign direct investment (fdi)
In terms of the number of investment projects and jobs created, the textile industry ranks quite high on the list of
sector attractiveness. Companies such as Benetton, Calzedonia, Golden Lady, Pompea, and many more are
extensively using their production facilities as secondary manufacturing sites for production of high-quality
apparel. Thus, they can react quickly to smaller orders with quick turnaround times. Competitively-priced labor,
as well as the strong textile tradition in Serbia, ensures manufacturing of high-quality products at very affordable
benefits that foreign partners get by cooperating
with serbian companies for garment production
Buyers and importers from Europe can expect following benefits by cooperating with Serbian garment producers:
- Good conditions for the entire business / commission processing
- Good quality standard with attractive costs
- Long tradition in providing services to global leaders in the industry
- Good geographic location and favorable economic situation
- Short transportation time and reasonable transportation costs
- Favorable trade agreements with EU, Russia, USA, CEFTA, Kazakhstan)
- Short delivery times
- Flexible, reliable and quick delivery tailored to customer needs
- Flexibility in minimum order quantities