DACIC OPENS EXPO RUSSIA-SERBIA 2017 EXHIBITION
BELGRADE, 15 March 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and the first deputy of the Russian minister for industry and trade, Gleb Nikitin, opened the Expo Russia-Serbia 2017 exhibition in Belgrade on March 15 and the Fourth Belgrade Business Forum, and called on the two countries' businesses to better utilize the benefits provided by the free trade agreement. During his address to the participants, Dacic said he was convinced the gathering would "confirm the good contacts" between the businessmen of Serbia and Russia and that the exhibition would "provide a significant incentive for more intense economic cooperation and strengthen overall cooperation between the two friendly countries." Nikitin said the exhibition was important for strengthening business ties between Serbia and Russia and that it could be held twice a year, simultaneously in Belgrade and Moscow. "This is the fourth time the exhibition is being held. We have in our hands the possibility to transform that number into 14 or 40, and increase the number of participants and contracts that will be signed during such events, in the same proportion," Nikitin stated. The Russian ambassador to Serbia, Aleksandar Cepurin, said the exhibition demonstrated the Serbian government's readiness to work on improving the investment climate and on developing cooperation between Serbia and Russia. The exhibition in the Hotel Metropol in Belgrade, organized by the Russian company "Zarubez-Expo" and under the auspices of the Russian Chamber of Trade and Industry and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce will last until March 17, with around 200 companies taking part.
VUCIC: I'LL TELL MUSTAFA WHAT HE IS DOING IS POINTLESS
SARAJEVO, 15 March 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in Sarajevo, on March 15, in response to the Kosovo government's decision to seize the property of the former Yugoslavia and Serbia, that he would tell Kosovo Premier Isa Mustafa that what he was doing is pointless. "What is there to talk about? They just have to make any move to provoke us," Vucic told reporters in Sarajevo, on the eve of a meeting of West Balkan prime ministers. He said Pristina had always avoided discussing the issue of property, the Serbian government said in a press release. Vucic also told reporters that the talks in Sarajevo would not be easy, especially in light of Pristina's proposal, which Serbia considers bad for the preservation of peace and stability in the region. "Our job is to protect our interests, to struggle in talks and dialog and try to solve those problems and defuse the tension," Vucic said. He said he and his counterparts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania would discuss building highways and that he would be happy when whichever of the projects went into construction. "All this builds a different political framework where the topics are no longer quarrels, conflict, problems, but the future... I think every conversation is good and signifies a reduction of tension among people, which is exceptionally important to us at this juncture," Vucic said.
DJURIC: WE SHALL ANNUL PRISTINA AUTHORITIES' DECISION
BELGRADE, 15 March 2017 (Beta) - The director of the government's Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Marko Djuric, stated on March 15 that he would request that, at its next session, the Serbian government annul the government in Pristina's decision to seize all the real estate in Kosovo. "We shall request that the government, at its next session, annul the illegal and unconstitutional decision by the temporary institutions in Pristina and their separatist leaders, as was done in the case of Trepca," Djuric said at a news conference. He said that would prevent the presentation of legal and all other harmful consequences to the people and property in Kosovo. Serbian Foreign minister Ivica Dacic said the decision by the Kosovo government to register all the property of the SFR Yugoslavia, Serbia and of the province in Kosovo as property of the republic of Kosovo was "absolutely unacceptable, illegal and damaging." "This is one more unilateral decision by Pristina, which shows that it is not interested in the dialogue in Brussels," Dacic stated, adding that Serbia had raised that issue several times during the Brussels negotiations, but that the Kosovo representatives did not wish to discuss it. Dacic said the decision carried no legal weight for Serbia and that it had no grounds in any agreements. "This indicates that they are bothered by something else. If there are so many unilateral moves and so many major issues, that means they are very much afraid and face problems. Whether this has to do with the political support they are losing or failures on the international plane, or the uncertainty regarding the stands of the new special court, that is another matter," Dacic told reporters in Belgrade. He stated that Serbia wanted to continue the dialogue and solve all the open issues with Pristina and in the region, through dialogue.
COOPERATION OF DEFENSE MINISTRY AND OSCE MISSION IN SERBIA
BELGRADE, 15 March 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Defense Minister Zoran Djordjevic met on March 15 with the chief of the OSCE mission in Serbia, Andrea Orizio, and discussed the current cooperation and plans for the forthcoming year. Orizio said he was convinced the established close partnership between the OSCE mission and Serbia would significantly contribute to accomplishing Serbia's reform goals. He reiterated the OSCE mission's readiness to continue the successful cooperation with all Serbian institutions, including the Defense Ministry, it was stated after the meeting. In his words, the goal of the cooperation is to contribute to further reforms in the security sector in a broader sense, which is an important element in the modernization of the country and in progress. Djordjevic said that particular attention was being paid to the implementation of the Code of Conduct in the military and political aspects of security in the reform of the defense system, the Defense Ministry stated.
CONTRACT ON DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENTIFIC COOPERATION BETWEEN SERBIA AND RS
BELGRADE, 15 March 2017 (Beta) - The Serbian minister for education, science and technological development, Mladen Sarcevic, and the science and technology minister of Republika Srpska (RS), Jasmin Komic, signed a contract in Belgrade on March 15 on the development of scientific and technological cooperation, based on the exchange of experience and databases, thanks to which new chapters will open in cooperation on regional projects. "We discussed the experiences which will be valuable to us, because Serbia has been registering important results in the domain of science, and has a good reputation in terms of the number of published science papers," Komic told reporters in the Ministry for Education, after the meeting with Sarcevic. Sarcevic said that they had discussed the joint project on the Andric Institute in Visegrad, the opening of start-up companies and the linking of science and technological development with commerce. According to Sarcevic, they also talked about the law on university education, which was drafted in RS and then halted, while it is in the final phase in Serbia. "Our law will not stop, because we will have a package of laws for the Parliament by June," Sarcevic said. During the meeting which, according to Komic, signified the continuing good cooperation between Republika Srpska and Serbia, they also signed the agreement on the competition for the best technological innovation, which has been worked on jointly for years now.
CADEZ: RISING NUMBERS OF SERBIAN, ALBANIAN ENTREPRENEURS INTERESTED IN COOPERATING
TIRANA, 15 March 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Chamber of Commerce head Marko Cadez said in Tirana, on March 15 that more and more Serbian and Albanian companies were interested in cooperation, primarily in the farming industry, wood processing, metalworking and the electric industry and tourism. "State institutions, in cooperation with business associations, are working on removing the obstacles to successful mutual business, and the mixed Albania-Serbia Chamber of Commerce and Industry gives significant support to the entrepreneurs of the two countries in maximizing the potential and connecting with potential partners," read a Serbian Chamber of Commerce press release, describing Cadez's meeting with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. The statement stressed that Rama and Cadez pointed to the importance of realizing infrastructural and other development projects within the Berlin Process and agreed that deeper regional integration of West Balkan economies would give business owners better conditions for cooperation. Cadez visited Tirana and Durres with representatives of Serbian companies Lilly Drogerie and the Mlekara Sabac dairy company, which are in talks with the Albanian Agna Group, Ferra&Co, PM Office and BALFIN about possibilities for cooperation and expanding to the Albanian market. Lilly Drogerie, which has a workforce of 3,500 people and 270 stores across Serbia and Bulgaria, is negotiating to expand its business to the Albanian target with a chain of stores. In addition to the Serbian and regional market, Mlekara Sabac covers over 20 percent of the Russian market of white cheese and is in talks about buying a dairy in Russia.
TALKS ABOUT COOPERATION WITH FINNISH COMPANIES
KRAGUJEVAC, 15 March 2017 (Beta) - Finnish Ambassador to Serbian Pertti Ikonen and the representatives of the Finnish companies Lindstrom and Alegrina met with Kragujevac city elders on March 15 and discussed economic cooperation. We have companies active in Serbia, Sumadija and Kragujevac. Fiskars tools are sold in the Kragujevac Agromarket, Lindstrom is in Belgrade, but it is also active in Kragujevac, Ikonen said. He noted that the Finnish outfit PKC was operating in Smederevo, with a workforce of 2,000. We discussed the possibility of cooperation with the Molok company, in waste management, with the mayor of Kragujevac, Ikonen added. Mayor Radomir Nikolic told reporters that the Finnish ambassador and company reps had been briefed on the opportunities for investment in Kragujevac. He said Kragujevac was ready to offer "even more than the surrounding area does" to the Finnish investors. "Lindstrom is a Finnish company known for the production of uniforms, so we recommended that they get in touch with Zastava INPRO which makes uniforms for the German army," Nikolic said.