The Ambassador of the United States of America (USA) in Belgrade, Christopher Hill said that the most important thing for American companies is that Serbia, sooner or later, will be part of the European Union (EU), and when it comes to the business of Rio Tinto states that the citizens themselves decide how to organize their economy.
I know that many Serbs worry about whether this will ever happen, but American companies believe that Serbia will be in the EU. When you look at the map, and this is important for everyone, you will see that Serbia is in a very good place. If you build a factory here, you are very close to the EU, and soon you will be in the Union – Hill pointed out.
He points out that the idea of the Open Balkans and the Berlin Process are similar initiatives, because they “increase the market for companies and factories”.
Any such integration project that facilitates and accelerates regionalization is a good idea. I think that Serbia has a special responsibility in this, because it is large compared to some other countries of the Balkans, and I believe that it must help some of those countries to overcome their historical heritage and lack of trust – said Hill.
When it is done, and I am convinced that it will happen, I think that this kind of initiative will be useful not only for Serbia, but also for all its neighbors – he added.
Asked if, as the American ambassador, he supports the Rio Tinto project in Serbia, Hill said that he would not want to get involved in that dispute “in the middle of the court process” that the company brought against Serbia for stopping the “Jadar” project.
I will only say that the people of Serbia will decide how they want to organize their economy and whether they want an economy based on mining, because there are many mines in Serbia, and some of them are Chinese, like Bor, where copper ore is exploited – he said.
Are you going to open a lithium mine? I think that Serbia must keep in mind that it needs a connection with the modern economy, not a connection with the past, but with the future, because Serbia will probably start producing its first electric car in 2024 – noted Hill, thinking that the electric “Fiat Panda” which will be produced in Kragujevac.
He repeated that “the Serbian people must decide” about Rio Tinto.