BELGRADE – May 5, 2020 – in cooperation with the CFO Association of Serbia and the largest Swiss bank – UBS, the first international online meeting was held on the topic: “World after COVID-19”.
In addition to members of the CFO Association of Serbia, the meeting was also attended by heads of financial sectors from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Northern Macedonia.
CFOs had the opportunity to find out what are the forecasts for the recovery of the world economy after the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus, but also what economic performance is expected in the coming period from the most important trade partners of the Balkan countries (Italy, Germany, Austria …). The presentation in front of UBS was led by Mr. Rolf Gunter, Managing Director, Wealth Management UBS. Mr. Gunter presented to the members of the Association the expectations of UBS regarding future currency trends, capital market movements as well as interest rates. Special attention was given to certain industries on which COVID had a significant influence, and thus it was debated how it will affect the automotive industry, as one of the key drivers of the economy in various European countries. It is quite certain that industries in countries where public debt was high even before the pandemic and where COVID had a significant impact on the suspension of economic activities, will have a much longer recovery period and will lag far behind countries that are economically more stable. Bearing in mind that China has already normalized the work of certain industries, there is a great chance that the same scenario will be applied to the countries in the EU that have the capacity to support their economy with economic measures and tax relief.
“We expect an economic recovery during 2021, but that will not be enough, so we will have to wait until 2022 or 2023 for a full recovery and return of the global economy to the value of GDP from 2019. Central Eastern Europe is not affected as much as Western Europe. . For example, real GDP growth in Spain is +1.4, as it was last year, expected to be -5.6% in 2020. In Germany, from a growth of + 0.6% in 2019, GDP is forecast to fall by -6.0% in 2020. The worst was Italy, whose GDP in 2019 was at +0.3, and -7.7% is expected for 2020.
Serbia did relatively well, as its expected decline in 2020 is -3%, which is a fairly good position compared to countries in the region: Romania (-5%), Slovenia (-8%), Croatia (-9%).