Minister Dacic attends the official opening ceremony of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF)

Address by Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic at the official opening ceremony of the 21st Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum:

“Distinguished participants in the 21st Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum,
Esteemed Georgy Sergeyevich
Esteemed Mr. Guterres,
Esteemed Mr. Issoze-Ngondet,
Esteemed Mr. Erdenebat,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

It is my great pleasure to address the participants in the 21st Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), on behalf of President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic and on my own behalf, and to thank them for honouring me with the opportunity to speak at the official opening session of the Forum.

I wish to underline, in particular, that it is a special honour and privilege for Serbia to participate in this year’s Forum as a guest country, and present its economic potential in the best possible light. In this context, I would like to express, this time again, my profound gratitude to the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, to the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, and the entire Government of the Russian Federation.

The very fact that we are now attending the 21st SPIEF speaks volumes of the importance, success and the tradition of this meeting, held with the participation of heads of state or government, and different portfolio ministers of many countries, as well as the most prominent world business representatives.

This year’s Forum is held at a highly important juncture, when major world economies are showing a trend of economic growth and recovery, following the global international crisis. It is incumbent upon us to encourage further continuation of this process, by reaching specific agreements at the highest level, which will inevitably enable smaller countries to achieve better results in their national economies.

The political and economic stability of many regions world-wide is highly contingent on the economic growth, stability and success of major world economies, such as those of Russia, the United States, China, Germany, India, and other countries.

The Republic of Serbia attaches particular importance to its economic cooperation with major international stakeholders, and has a great interest in the strongest possible presence of foreign companies and foreign capital on the Serbian market.

I would like to highlight an important fact that Serbia is one of the few countries that have signed free trade agreements both with the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan, as well as with the EU, Turkey, including EFTA and CEFTA countries.

It is a fact that the Russian Federation is Serbia’s strategic political, economic and one of the major foreign trading partners, and among the largest foreign investors in the Serbian trade sector.

Although Serbia’s trade has slightly declined over the past two years, totalling some 2 billion US dollars, due to the developments on the international scene, Serbia is convinced that vast potential for a dynamic trade cooperation has not as yet been utilized. We see this Forum as an important step towards further strengthening of economic relations.

Serbia is interested in continuing the positive trend and wishes to intensify cooperation with the Russian Federation in the energy sector, increase the trade volume, and broaden the structure of goods traded, as well as to finalize the old, and commence new infrastructural projects.

In addition to investing in the sectors of banking, energy and railways, we invite Russian investors, as well as other foreign partners, to make bolder investments in all areas of mutual interest. The Government of the Republic of Serbia supports the continuation of all institutional contacts aimed at strengthening economic ties.

Dear Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to underline, once again, the commitment of the Republic of Serbia to the development of best possible political and economic relations with all interested states, based on equality and mutual respect, and to express my belief that the result of this and similar prominent meetings will be the reaching of specific business arrangements.

I am confident that this year’s Forum will fulfil the high expectations of its participants.

I wish you all successful deliberations.”