Belgrade, April 25, 2012
JEREMIC: SARAJEVO CONFERENCE STEP TO LASTING SOLUTION
SARAJEVO, April 24 (Tanjug) - Serbia's Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic has said that the donor conference in Sarajevo on Tuesday represents the first great step towards a lasting solution to the refugee issue in the region.
Jeremic told Tanjug after the meeting that an atmosphere had been created in the relations between four countries, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia, which will facilitate finding solutions to problems where there had not been enough understanding between all the sides so far.
"There is reason for more optimism than yesterday, after we have witnessed this conference," he stressed. Funds were collected at the conference to help only the 74,000 most threatened refugees, he pointed out.
"Those are not small funds, but they are not enough either. There are over 600,000 refugees and internally displaced persons in Serbia alone, and other countries have a similar problem. Many more steps are needed to solve this problem permanently, but the conference is in any case a good, important step in that direction," he concluded.
Around EUR 300 million were collected at the donor conference in Sarajevo on Tuesday, which is 60 percent of the funds needed to provide housing for the refugees in Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia who are in the worst situation.
The EU and U.S., however, promised to secure over the next 5 years the rest of the money needed for the regional programme that would provide housing for 27,000 refugee families.
The countries of the region are supposed to participate with another EUR 83 million, EUR 33 million of which should come from Serbia.
EUR300 MILLION DONATED AT GATHERING IN SARAJEVO
SARAJEVO, April 24 (Beta) - A regional donor conference was held in Sarajevo on April 24, at which around EUR300 million was collected, of the planned 500 million in donations for sheltering the refugees and the displaced in countries of the former Yugoslavia.
The gathering was attended by representatives of the UNHCR, the European Commission, the OSCE, the U.S., officials of Bosnia Herzegovina, foreign ministers of Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro, and representatives of Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, the Vatican, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Austria, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Switzerland.
The refugee repatriation program will envisage, in the first phase, 27,000 households, or 74,000 people in four countries, in the next five years.
The conference was also attended by the EU enlargement commissioner, Stephan Fuehle, who promised that the European Commission, as the biggest donor, would help the program from IPA funds with EUR230 million.
The U.S. promised EUR10 million, Switzerland, Norway and Italy five million each, Germany five million and Turkey one million. Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia promised a total of EUR83 million. The gathering was attended by the former high commissioner for the refugees, Sadako Ogata, who personally donated EUR25,000.
The minister for human rights of Bosnia Herzegovina, Damir Ljubic, said that the repatriation program should start this year. He said earlier that, of the needed EUR500 million, Serbia should receive 308 million, Croatia and Bosnia 100 million each, and Montenegro around EUR25 million, and that money would be spent according to the priorities determined by each country individually.
JEREMIC AND IZETBEGOVIC ON CANDIDACY FOR U.N.
SARAJEVO, April 24 (Beta) - The president of the Presidency of Bosnia Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, told Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic on April 24 that Sarajevo will consider his nomination for the post of chairman of the U.N. General Assembly, recollecting that certain statements by Jeremic had caused negative reactions among the public in Bosnia.
Jeremic and Izetbegovic met on April 24, on the margins of the regional donor conference in Sarajevo and, according to the statement of the Presidency of Bosnia Herzegovina, Jeremic inquired about the possibility for receiving Bosnia's support as a candidate for the post of chairman of the U.N. General Assembly.
According to the statement, Jeremic recollected that Serbia and he personally, had supported Bosnia during the vote on Bosnia's nonpermanent membership in the U.N. Security Council.
Izetbegovic said that "the Presidency of Bosnia Herzegovina will consider the candidacy of Serbia, clearly warning Jeremic that some of his controversial and malevolent statements about Bosnia had caused negative reactions among the Bosnian public," the Presidency stated.
It was also said in the statement that Izetbegovic and Jeremic discussed the current political situation in the region and the relations between the two countries, and expressed optimism that "the trend of the started normalization and cooperation will continue after the forthcoming elections in Serbia."
SERBIA – ECONOMY, FINANCE
PM: SERBIA IS FAVORABLE INVESTMENT DESTINATION
BELGRADE, April 25 (Tanjug) - Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic stated Wednesday that Serbia is favorable investment destination, being an organized state with hardworking and educated workers and fair and favorable economic conditions.
The prime minister stressed that Serbia, which represents an organic connection between East and West, is now a strong momentum of stability and the initiator of regional cooperation, and added that substantial reconciliation and dialogue are the only path leading to lasting peace and fair solutions in the region's political life.
At the opening of the two-day PostEurop Plenary Assembly in Belgrade, Cvetkovic said that many worldrenowned manufacturers have recognized those benefits and became Serbia's partners even in the times of economic crisis. He expressed belief that the number of such companies in Serbia will increase this year and in the future.
According to him, Serbia's geostrategic position offers prospects for becoming an important European intersection of roads and railways, but also a powerful hub of telecommunications and all types of traffic. "Our ambition is to use this potential in the best way, which is why we invest considerable funds in the infrastructure development even in the times of crisis," Cvetkovic said.
Addressing the representatives of European and world postal administrations, the prime minister pointed to their significant role when it comes to helping underdeveloped countries establish European standards and accelerate development.
CEO of PTT Communications Serbia Goran Ciric pointed out that the postal administrations which gathered today have around two million workers and 800 million users.
Ciric said that the speedy growth of information and telecommunication technologies pose new challenges for postal administrations, and added that the PTT Communications of Serbia assists in the search for new solutions and makes efforts to create new and retain the existing markets.
Chairman of PostEurope JeanPaul Forceville said that the world's postal sector is facing a reduction in mail volume, and that they are working to find new ways of doing business, which is why they need assistance and the attention of governments and regulatory bodies.
The participants of the plenary assembly will adopt a platform on PostEurop's strategy for the forthcoming Doha Congress of the Universal Postal Union. They will also adopt a number of concrete decisions important for enhancing international postal services.
The assembly will also include a business forum dubbed "Merging with the Digital World," which will be held on Thursday.
The holding of the assembly is of great importance for Serbia's postal services and the country's postal legislature that should be harmonized with the EU's regulations.
PostEurop is the biggest international postal organization, which gathers 50 European public postal operators.
FORUM HIGHLIGHTS SERBIA-GERMANY COOPERATION
HANNOVER, April 24 (Tanjug) - Nebojsa Ciric, Serbian Minister of Economy and Regional Development, stated Tuesday that the German Serbian Business Forum within the 2012 Hannover Fair is an opportunity for German partners and friends to get better acquainted with the experience of German companies that have already invested in Serbia.
Addressing the panel dubbed “Serbia as a Business Location Prospects for Cooperation,” Ciric stressed that, apart from enabling direct contact with German companies, the Forum presents all advantages and opportunities of investing in Serbia, including the financial, fiscal and macroeconomic stability that Serbia offers to foreign investors.
The minister said that the Forum he attended on the second day of his official visit to Hannover displays the importance that Serbia and Germany dedicate to the promotion of economic cooperation derived from good political relations.
He expressed great satisfaction that, for the first time in seven years, the Serbian companies have had an opportunity to present their products at the prestigious 2012 Hannover Messe, the world’s largest technology expo which last year gathered 6,500 exhibitors from 65 countries.
Director of the Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA) Bozidar Laganin stated that the Forum, jointly organized by SIEPA and its global partners, is an excellent opportunity to provide new information to the German partners with whom talks have been conducted for some time. “This was also an opportunity for them to learn about the experience of their colleagues who have already decided to invest in Serbia. I am convinced that we will attend the fair next year as well, taking into account not only the interest and potential of Serbian companies, but also the interest of our partners in Germany,” Laganin underlined.
On the first day of his stay to Hannover, Ciric visited the world’s largest technology and innovation fair focused on finding technological solutions for a sustainable industrial production in various sectors. The minister visited Serbia’s booth organized by SIEPA, which presented 10 Serbian companies and the Vojvodina Metal Cluster, the Ministry’s statement reads.
SERBIA ON TOP TEN LIST FOR GERMAN INVESTORS
BELGRADE, April 24 (Tanjug)-The latest poll carried out among the members of the German Serbian economic association showed that as much as 91 percent of the German enterprises would choose Serbia as their investment destination.
Serbia is on a list of top ten favorite destinations for German investors in central and southeast Europe along with Poland and the Czech Republic, said Michael Schmidt, head of the Delegation of the German Economy to Serbia, presenting the results of the survey conducted in February.
Hungary had worse ranking than Serbia, as each third German businessmen had complaints.
According to Schmidt, the German enterprises are ready to invest and employ new workers in spite of the economic crisis, and the German investors also expect larger turnover, incomes and export profits. Schmidt underlined that the poll indicates that future investments and establishment of business relations between the two countries greatly depend on further improvement of the business environment, primarily the fight against organized crime and corruption, while public procurement has to be more transparent and efficient.
The mentioned factors and greater legal security, as Schmidt underlined, are preconditions for Serbia to attract German investors, particularly small and mediumsized companies.
Hans Ulrich Suedbeck, German Embassy in Serbia Deputy Head of Mission, noted that there are 300 private and 360 legal entities from Germany doing business in Serbia, adding that German companies employ more than 20,000 people in Serbia.
He underlined that the direct investments from Germany have reached EUR 1.5 billion, and that Serbia got around EUR 63 million of investments in 2011.
The survey, which included 76 companies, showed that in spite of Serbia’s difficult economic environment 51 percent of enterprises expect an increase in business turnover, and 45 percent increase in profits in 2012.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
DREW: 700 MORE NATO TROOPS TO ARRIVE IN KOSOVO ON APRIL 27.
PRISTINA, April 24 (Beta) - KFOR commander Erhard Drew announced in Podujevo that an additional 700 NATO troops were bound for Kosovo and that their arrival date would be April 27, but declined to say where they would arrive and take up stations.
The Pristina media carried a comment by Commander Drew in response to NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen that EULEX was insufficiently trained and equipped to carry out missions, that he had good cooperation with EULEX.
"To my understanding, Rasmussen did not complain about a lack of cooperation or coordination. His objection had to do more with EULEX's capacity. I would like to say that we have good cooperation with EULEX and no complaints," Drew said.
When asked whether KFOR would close alternative roads used by Serbian politicians for their visits to Kosovo, Drew replied: "These roads will be closed if we discover that they are being used by Serbian groups or politicians who come to northern Kosovo to raise tensions."
KFOR: INFORMATION ABOUT U.S. SPECIAL TEAM IS UNTRUE
PRISTINA, April 24 (Tanjug) - KFOR Spokesperson Uwe Nowitzki told Tanjug Tuesday that that the information about U.S. special forces that had appeared in certain Serbian media was untrue and was taken from an April 21 report by Tiranabased newspaper Lajm.
I can only say that the report was not true to facts, Nowitzki said
Vienna and Berlin previously said they would deploy additional KFOR troops to Kosovo ahead of the elections, from the Operational Reserve Force (ORF), composed of Austrian and German soldiers.
A total of 550 German and 150 Austrian soldiers should be deployed at the lines dividing the two ethnic communities in northern Kosovo.
They will be stationed at points in the city of Kosovska Mitrovica and Albanian villages in the municipalities of Zvecan and Zubin Potok, where local elections are planned to be held.
The U.S. Embassy in Pristina has meanwhile announced that a U.S. assault ship would dock at Albania's Port of Durres on April 2427.
The visit has nothing to do with the events in the region, as it is only part of regular efforts made by the U.S. Sixth Fleet in promoting naval partnership with European countries and improving safety and security at sea, the announcement reads.
NOWITZKI CONFIRMS ORF HAS BEEN ACTIVATED
PRISTINA, April 24 (Tanjug) - KFOR Spokesman Uwe Nowitzki confirmed for Tanjug on Tuesday that "the second battalion of the Operational Reserve Force (ORF) has been activated and will deploy to Kosovo shortly."
"This is part of our prudent planning and positioning to make sure that we have the forces necessary to do our task," Nowitzki said in a written statement presented to Tanjug.
KFOR's mission, he noted, is to preserve a safe and secure environment for all people of Kosovo in an impartial way.
"That is what we have done for over a decade, and that is what we will continue to do," Nowitzki said. He added that more details regarding the deployment of ORF units can be obtained from the German and Austrian Ministry of Defence.