SMEs from Serbia and the Western Balkans Becoming an Indispensable Part of European Supply Chains

The second edition of InterConnect B2B event took place in Belgrade on April 17 and 18, and it turned out that it has grown into a unique platform that brings Serbian and Western Balkan companies from the equipment and machinery sector closer to the European market in the most practical way.  This puts the SMEs in the position to become a part of the new supply chain solutions in the industry, responding to the nearshoring trends. 

More than 80 SMEs from the metal, rubber, plastic, and machinery sectors attended the event, and they had the opportunity to meet and negotiate new export deals with representatives of 17 large European companies from Germany, Sweden, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.  More than 200 meetings took place during the first day of the event through a professional B2B platform, which enabled tailored matchmaking based on the capabilities and needs of both parties. 

The event was based on a tailored approach that aims to maximize the impact of matchmaking by addressing buyer demand and seller capabilities, thus creating the highest return on investment for the participants in establishing new and stable businesses.  The buying companies such as PUREM and KIEKERT from Germany, BUFAB from Sweden, Hisense Gorenje Europe from Slovenia, and others, were selected to ensure opportunities for SMEs of different sizes and capabilities, with annual turnovers ranging from 2 million to 60 billion euros. 

On the second day, April 18, the prospective buyers visited some of the most promising supplier SMEs throughout Serbia to gain unique insights into their business practices and capabilities.

The event is organized jointly by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Convestenics, a company specializing in matchmaking in the E&M sector, and the Big Small Businesses Project.  This year, the event attracted numerous supporting organizations and sponsors, such as the Development Agency of Serbia, International Finance Corporation, NLB Komercijalna banka, and Hannover Impuls. 

The first impressions of potential buyers on the B2B concept and meetings after day 1:

Kiekert AG, Germany: We have been trying for some time to dip our toes in the water of the Western Balkans to find suppliers and partners for the future.  I am very happy to have come here and found many new contacts and even potential business partners.  I think that the event is excellently organized.  The concept is smart, and everyone is forced to use those 25 minutes effectively.

LWB-Automation, Germany: The size is right, not too big, not too small.  I have a new record with ten scheduled meetings.  Suppliers are well prepared and committed, so the first day was a complete success for me.