Daily Survey

Belgrade, March 28, 2012

SERBIA

TADIC RECEIVES CERN DIRECTOR GENERAL

BELGRADE, March 27(Tanjug) - President Boris Tadic said at meeting with Director General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) Rolf-Dieter Heuer, that Serbia's accession to the organization will speed up research processes and offer possibilities for the economic development.Tadic also said that Serbia's Associate Membership in CERN is significant for domestic scientists, universities and institutes.On January 10, 2012, Tadic and Heuer signed an agreement in Geneva, under which Serbia has become an associate member of CERN, the president's press service released in a statement.Today's meeting in Belgrade was also attended by Minister of Education and Science Zarko Obradovic.

VUJANOVIC: MONTENEGRO TO BACK JEREMIC'S CANDIDACY

BELGRADE, March 26 (Beta) – Montenegro will back the candidacy of Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic for the chairman of the UN General Assembly, Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic stated. For Television B92, Vujanovic said that Montenegro would provide full support to Jeremic and maintain the attitude permanently.We are neighbours who promote good neighbourly relations, Vujanovic said and noted that Montenegro believes it is necessary for the two countries to send a good message from the region.

FRANCE: KOSOVO AND ALBANIA ARE NOT SAFE COUNTRIES

PARIS, March 26 (Beta) – The Council of State as the highest administrative body in France annulled the decision of the Administrative Council of the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) which qualifies Kosovo and Albania as countries of safe origin.On March 18, 2011, OFPRA listed Albania and Kosovo as the countries in which the principles of freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights and essential freedoms are respected, the French asylum posted on its website.The Council of State annulled the decision on Monday at the request by the organisation and the Refugee Forum, the release states.Each year, France offers protection to a considerable number of refugees from Kosovo and Albania, whereby it recognises that they are in jeopardy of banishment or similar dangers there, the two organisations recalled and specified that according to the 2010 data, France provided protection to 785 people from Kosovo and 56 more from Albania.The associations recalled that the assessment of the situation in a country should not depend on diplomatic decisions or take into account the attempted control of asylum applicants, the release states.The list of countries of safe origin comprise Armenia, Bangladesh, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Croatia, Ghana, Mauritius, India, Mali, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Senegal, Serbia, Tanzania and Ukraine.

SERBIA – ECONOMY

CIRIC: ITALY IMPORTANT INVESTOR AND PARTNER

BELGRADE, March 26 (Beta) – The candidate status for EU membership is a good signal for investors, as it confirms that the country is stable in political, economic and security terms, Serbian Minister of Economy Nebojsa Ciric said on Tuesday, adding that Italy greatly helped Serbia secure the status.At the presentation of a new association of the Italian economy in Serbia 'Confindustria', Ciric said that Serbia is a great place for investments, and that in 2011, the country was a leader in the region as regards the worth of foreign investments.He added that Italian investments in Serbia exceed EUR 1 billion, noting that around 400 Italian companies are running their businesses in Serbia. They hire around 20, 000 workers and make an annual turnover of EUR 2.5 billion, the minister added.Ciric said that the joint venture of Fiat and the state of Serbia is the most significant Italian investment, and announced that a new Fiat factory will be opened in Kragujevac in April. Once it becomes fully operational, the factory will help increase the company's exports to EUR 1.3 billion.He noted that Italian investors are present in nearly all branches of the Serbian economy, adding that they showed a great interest in the Serbian energy sector, rubber and furniture industries, metal sector, agriculture and food industry.Ciric voiced expectation that new Italian investments will follow soon.In terms of investments in Serbia, Italy holds the second position, after first-ranked Germany. In 2011, the overall trade with Italy reached EUR 2.2 billion.Italian Ambassador to Serbia Armando Varricchio underlined that Serbia is the seat of the internalisation of the Italian production system, adding that Italian small, medium-sized, as well as multinational companies maintain a strong presence in Serbia.He said that the improvement of the Serbian business environment is vital for EU integration, and stressed that Italy always supported Serbia on its EU road.Varricchio expressed hope that the talks on Serbia's EU entry would start by the year's end.The ambassador recalled that the delegation of the Italian government headed by the prime minister visited Serbia on March 8, thereby underlining the importance that Italy attaches to the cooperation with Serbia.

SERBIA & RUSSIA SIGN AGREEMENT ON RAILWAY

MOSCOW March 27 (Beta) – Serbian Railways Director General Milovan Markovic and President of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin signed in Moscow on Tuesday an agreement on realization of projects in the areas of construction and modernization of the rail traffic in Serbia. The agreement envisages construction of new rail routes and reconstruction of the old ones, and the projects are expected to be launched late in 2012 after signing the Russian-Serbian agreements on interstate loans. We have the total of five projects. Two are related to construction of new railroads, while the other ones are related to modernization and reconstruction of the current infrastructure, including around 400 kilometers of rails. The final deadline for completion of works is five years, Yakunin said after the signing ceremony.