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Opinions & Interviews

21 Jun 2019

Belarus, Serbia urged to step up economic cooperation

Belarus, Serbia urged to step up economic cooperation

MINSK, 21 June (BelTA) - Belarus and Serbia need to strengthen trade and economic cooperation, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic who came to Belarus for the opening ceremony of the 2nd European Games on 21 June, BelTA has learned.

The Belarus president said that the political relations between the two countries are at the highest level, which was confirmed by the heads of state at the recent meeting on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in China. “I think we need to add more trade, more economy to the political relations to make sure our relations have a solid foundation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state underlined that Belarusians in general and he personally have a special attitude towards Serbia. “I would like to once again declare that Serbia is not only a priority in our relations. For us it is a close country, close people. You know what Serbia is for me personally,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated.

He thanked the Serbian president for the visit to Minsk and emphasized that the meeting is held in the office meant for meetings with most important and closest friends. “I thank you and Serbian people for the warmth with which they relate to the Belarusians, to me personally. We very much appreciate this. Believe me, this will benefit our relations long term,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandar Vucic thanked the Belarusian head of state for a warm and hospitable welcome. “You have said that Serbia is a close country for Belarus. I can say that Belarus is also a friendly and very close state for us. We appreciate everything you do. Thank you very much for your stance on Kosovo,” he said.

The Serbian president agreed that the two countries need to bolster trade ties and economic cooperation in general. Aleksandar Vucic expressed hope that the future visit of the Belarusian leader to Serbia would contribute greatly to the bilateral relations. He also extended greetings to the Belarusian head of state on hosting the 2nd European Games.

Belarus-Serbia mutual trade showed growth in January-April 2019 and exceeded $59 million, up 48% year-on-year. Belarus’ exports made up $36.5 million (up 76%), the country’s imports totaled $22.6 million (up 18%).

Serbia is home to plants assembling MTZ tractors and MAZ buses. The two states are working to set up a joint company to produce Gomselmash harvesters in the city of Kragujevac. The two countries are implementing a project to produce 33 fire engines based on MAZ chassis for the Serbian Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Serbia’s Dana Holdings has been implementing big construction projects Mayak Minska and Minsk Mir in Belarus. There are seven companies with the Serbian capital in Belarus.

Team Serbia at the 2nd European Games will comprise 66 athletes and 48 coaches. Serbian athletes will compete in archery, 3x3 basketball, badminton, boxing, canoe sprint, cycling, judo, karate, sambo, table tennis, and wrestling. 

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