The excursion was organized as part of the course “CEE/SEE Business Environment” to provide the students with a practical insight into the political and economic situation of this specific region. Therefore, the program of the excursion included visits of various interesting institutions and companies, as well as a guided city tour through the old town.
On the first day, the participants had the opportunity to meet Mr. Fabian Gems, the Deputy Head of Advantage Austria in Belgrade. Mr. Gems gave an insight into the commonalities and differences between the Austrian and the Serbian culture, into the challenges and problems that foreign companies and investors are facing in Serbia, and into the support that Advantage Austria is providing for Austrian companies.
On the next day, the group was invited to Vip mobile d.o.o., a Serbian mobile communication company that has been the biggest green field investment of an international company (Telekom Austria) in Serbia with more than 900 million Euros of investment so far. All participants of the excursion were surprised and impressed by the young and highly-committed management team, which introduced them to the company’s business field and the unconventional way of working. For example, the management style and the office design were inspired by well-known American companies (such as Google) with colorful open space offices, comfortable relax areas, very flexible work time, etc.
In the afternoon, the group had an interesting guided tour through the old town and could explore the beautiful castle of Belgrade with its marvelous view over the city and the Danube.
Before flying home on the last day of the excursion, visits of the Delegation of the European Union and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry concluded the diversified program. These two meetings provided a deeper understanding of the economic situation and the progress of Serbia’s accession negotiations to the European Union.
The International Business Management students were able to gain a good understanding for the political and economic situation in the country as well as the characteristic features of the Serbian culture. Through this excursion, the students visited a city that they might not have seen otherwise and experienced the developments that are taking place in the former Yugoslavian countries.
 CEE = Central and Eastern Europe; SEE = South East Europe