Belarus and Serbia should move from trade to more advanced investment cooperation and scientific and technical cooperation. The proposal was made as First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vasily Matyushevsky met with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, BelTA has learned.
The negotiations took place on the sidelines of the China-CEE 16+1 summit. Belarus had been invited to attend the summit in the capacity of an observer.
In January 2017 the prime ministers of Belarus and Serbia signed a roadmap on advancing cooperation between the two countries in 2017-2018. Vasily Matyushevsky said: “The implementation of the roadmap should enable favorable conditions for fully exploring the potential of Belarus-Serbia cooperation. With this in mind we suggest moving from trade onto more advanced investment cooperation and scientific and technical cooperation. It is important to get involved in active work right now in order to advance manufacturing cooperation ties and establish joint enterprises.”
As positive examples of cooperation he mentioned the assembly of Belarusian tractors and buses in Serbia and the joint production of fire trucks based on MAZ chassis for the Serbian Interior Ministry. Belarus is also interested in assembling harvesters and other agricultural machines, road construction and maintenance machines in Serbia.
Vasily Matyushevsky noted that sincere and friendly relations had evolved between Belarus and Serbia and had survived the test of time. Their strength had been proven with deeds. “The dialogue between our governments is rather intensive and productive thanks to meetings of the two heads of state and the heads of government,” he stressed. “Serbia is an important trade and economic partner for Belarus and a place we can rely on in the Balkans.” Belarus-Serbia trade has increased by nearly 4.5 times over the course of nine years of free trade regime, getting close to $240 million in 2017. “The potential of our economies allows reaching a higher level of trade and economic interaction. In 2015 the presidents of Belarus and Serbia set the goal of raising the bilateral trade up to $500 million. I believe that the figure is objectively the real minimum the bilateral trade can achieve in the next few years,” said the official.
First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vasily Matyushevsky also met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov on the sidelines of the China-CEE 16+1 summit.