The Hosted Buyer of Build Expo Greece 2021 and General Director of DABAR construction company, Mr. Ivan Milosevic, shares his views about the sector and the potential of further cooperation between Serbia and Greece.

What is the profile of your company? In which fields are you active and in which countries do you maintain cooperation?

We are a construction company and we are building houses, residential buildings and manufacturing facilities. We are mainly doing constructive work but we can also do interior works. We are importers of Proofing Hyperstone, an innovative elastic stone from Greece, and our workers have the expertise to install this specific product. We are working in Serbia, we have a subsidiary in Sweden and in general we have collaboration with other countries too, although the pandemic has restricted our further developmental activity.

After a ten-year crisis, the Greek construction market is starting to show positive growth rates again. Would you see opportunities for your company in cooperating with Greek companies and in which fields?

The positive growth rates are good news indeed. And yes, we certainly see opportunities. We already have a great cooperation with TETOROS CONSTRUCTION APPLICATIONS for the last few years. We would be honoured to cooperate with other companies too. We are always looking for something new, something innovative, something that our local customers cannot find in Serbia. For example we are interested in purchasing sophisticated carpentry products, as also in windows that have built-in solar panels.

Accordingly, are there any opportunities for Greek companies in your country and in which fields?

That is a question with many levels of answering but we will keep it simple. Right now we have a big problem in Serbia with the price of the materials, since prices have risen sharply during the last one month or two. This is good for the producers but it is not good for us, and with us I mean the companies that need the materials to produce new products. I am not sure if the Greek companies can be involved in construction, but they surely can provide materials produced in Greece. This is a field with untapped capabilities.

How do you see the business future of construction sector in Southeast Europe and in the contiguous regions? Is broad cooperation essential for the quickest recovery from the consequences of the pandemic?

Yes, it would be great to have more expanded cooperation between all countries of our neighbourhood. It would definitely be ideal for recovering from the problems that the pandemic caused. There is still an insecurity hovering over the region regarding the unhampered passing through the boarders and the conditions by which transportation of goods will continue but hopefully the difficult phase is behind. Trade routes are now open between Serbia and the neighbour countries such as Bulgaria, Greece, Bosnia and we expect things to get even better. Southeast Europe can enhance its trade activity between its countries and I think that is a reasonable goal for the near future.

Serbia and Greece maintain traditionally a strong connection which applies also in various business fields. What kind of business strategies do you think the two countries should adopt for strengthening their cooperation in construction sector?

I believe that Serbia and Greece can cooperate successfully in every category of the construction sector. There is high potential between the two countries. It is essential though to address the issues once we see them, because that will help us all to reach this potential sooner. The main issue here is the price of the materials. In Serbia we have products from other countries with antagonising prices in comparison to the ones that are made in Greece. We have to be practical and to accept the data: Most people in Serbia have small salaries, therefore their purchasing power is confined. This also has an effect over the entrepreneurship level. The bigger construction projects are of course handled easily when a powerful firm has the general command. But there is no reason to lose mutual opportunities of smaller scale, of medium range for example, when we can advance our cooperation even further. Maybe it would be good to have better conditions for opening foreign companies in our countries, always in agreement with the state.

Considering the high exhibitors interest in participating, what are your expectations from Build Expo Greece 2021 and in what ways will it be beneficial for the construction industry of the wider region?

I expect a great organisation like the previous edition of Build Expo Greece. Meeting the right people and learning something new in the field of construction is always beneficial. I believe that many people have the same expectations. The market needs an exhibition of such calibre to gather again the companies of the sector and to assist them in resuming and expanding their business contacts. Our company is also participating in the Hosted Buyers Programme of Build Expo Greece, therefore we are sure that we will have some highly productive B2B meetings and that is an excellent reason to join in.