Following are the remarks made by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic at the inauguration of the “EXPO- Russia Serbia 2017” trade show, which opened today in Belgrade.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the pleasure to welcome you at the opening ceremony of this important and now traditional economic event, taking place in Belgrade for the fourth time, and to extend my warm welcome to our Russian partners.
I would particularly like to underline the interest of the Republic of Serbia in further development of the overall relations with the Russian Federation, on the basis of our strategic partnership and both sides’ commitment to their deepening in all areas.
On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and in my capacity as Co-Chairman of the Serbia-Russia Intergovernmental Committee on Trade, Economic, Technical and Scientific Cooperation, I express my strong and unequivocal support to all joint efforts aimed at further enhancement and diversification of economic cooperation. Events like the one we are attending today provide opportunities for meetings and dialogue between representatives of public and private sectors of our two countries and are conducive to a more attractive environment for economic cooperation and investments.
The history of rich and mutually intertwining relations between the Republic of Serbia and the Russian Federation testifies to our common interest and the need for close cooperation in different areas, clearly paving the way to future activities and giving impetus to making full use of the opportunities for an even more dynamic business cooperation. Institutional support, which undoubtedly exists both on Serbian and Russian sides, permeating all levels of state and business structures, is another significant aspect of creating a stimulating business environment.
I have the great pleasure to confirm what you all already know very well, that the trading and business relations between our two countries are developing and becoming more substantive, despite the existing hurdles and challenges at the international level. We are interested in the continuation of all the positive trends, desirous of enhancing energy cooperation with the Russian Federation, of increasing the volume of trade exchange (in 2016, it amounted to EUR 2,086 billion) and expanding the structure of our exports to Russia, as well as of completing the ongoing and embarking on new infrastructural projects.
We expect the upcoming period to see not only the rise in investment cooperation, but also an increase in Serbia’s exports to Russia, in the same way we expect all the potentials of Serbian economy to be seized, especially in the areas of tourism and automotive industry, in addition to the traditional export of construction materials, furniture and agricultural produce.
We are encouraging our Russian partners and local entrepreneurs to make substantial use of the benefits offered by the Free Trade Agreement between our two countries. The presence and the performances of the Russian companies operating on the Serbian market in the banking sector and in sectors of energy, rail infrastructure and other areas, constitute a solid basis for Russian investors to embrace a pro-active approach in a favourable business environment.
I am confident that the good business contacts between Serbian and Russian entrepreneurs will be reaffirmed at today’s event once again, and that this trade show will add significant impetus to a more intensive business and economic cooperation, and to the solidification of the overall bilateral cooperation between our two friendly countries.
Dear participants of the trade show,
I would like to seize today’s opportunity to underline, once again, the commitment of the Government of the Republic of Serbia to the development of the overall economic cooperation with the Russian Federation, and my belief that this and similar events will result in materialization of tangible business arrangements.
I am also grateful to the organizers for having invited me and I wish you the best of luck in your work!”