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DAILY SURVEY 19.05.2017.
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SERBIA

DACIC, CHEPURIN: ECONOMIC RELATIONS BETWEEN SERBIA, RUSSIA DEVELOPING

BELGRADE, 18 May 2017 (Beta) - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Ivica Dacic and Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Chepurin said on May 18 that economic relations between Serbia and Russia were following an ascending trend which, they said, was a basis for further developing mutual trade and increasing investments. Dacic and Chepurin said that political relations between Serbia and Russia were also good, while overall mutual relations were developing dynamically, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. The collocutors said that the envisaged bilateral activities would provide an added impulse to their further advancement.

LUKASHENKO, NIKOLIC ON VUCIC AND DEVELOPMENT OF SERBIAN-BELARUSIAN RELATIONS

MINSK, 18 May 2017 (Beta) - President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said in a meeting with his Serbian counterpart Tomislav Nikolic, on May 18 in Minsk, that he expected to see a continued policy of strengthening relations between the two countries, the Belarusian national television STV reported. "I met with the new Serbian president-elect, Aleksandar Vucic, in Beijing. I saw that he was fortifying the foundations we had laid in restoring friendly relations between the Orthodox peoples of Belarus and Serbia," said Lukashenko. Nikolic said that nothing would change in the relationship between the two countries after Vucic's taking office as president. Lukashenko said that trade was not at a satisfactory level, but that it had nevertheless increased manifold over the past few years. Lukashenko previously handed Nikolic the State Award of Belarus - the Order of the Friendship of Nations. Prior to the awarding of the order and the meeting with the president of Belarus, Nikolic, accompanied by the chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Andrei Shorets, visited Victory Square and placed a wreath at the Victory Monument.

VUCIC, DITTMAN TALK COOPERATION, REGION, EUROPEAN INTEGRATION

BELGRADE, 18 May 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and German Ambassador Axel Dittmann talked on May 18 about bilateral relations, the situation in the region and Serbia's European integration. According to a statement issued by the Serbian government, Dittmann and Vucic concurred that Serbian-German political relations had been significantly advanced and stressed the importance of regional stability and cooperation within the EU integration process. They particularly highlighted the good economic cooperation between Serbia and Germany, evident in the growing number of German investments bringing many new jobs for Serbian workers, and voiced confidence that matters would continue to unfold in that direction, to mutual benefit. Vucic expressed his gratitude to Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel for the support they were giving Serbia, both on the European path and in the form of commitment to stabilizing affairs and cooperation in the Western Balkans, especially through the Berlin Process. Dittmann confirmed Germany's support to Serbia's EU accession.

VUCIC: HARADINAJ'S PARTICIPATION IN DIALOGUE WOULD BE HUMILIATION FOR THE EU, TOO

BELGRADE, 18 May 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on May 18 that it would be humiliating for the EU, too, if Pristina's chief negotiator in the dialogue with Belgrade were Ramush Haradinaj, for whom the Serbian prosecution had direct evidence that he had committed some of the most severe war crimes. "We will resume the dialogue, but we basically haven't had any dialogue in the last six months," Vucic told reporters in Odzaci, when asked about the possibility of Haradinaj's becoming premier of Kosovo and chief negotiator in the Brussels dialogue with Serbia. Vucic said that he had noticed at the last two meetings in Brussels that "everything has changed" in the dialogue with Pristina. "After the last two meetings, I said to (Serbian President Tomislav) Nikolic that I had seen that everything had changed, that everything was different, that they asked the EU nothing, that they had someone else to rely on," said Vucic. Vucic also said that Serbia would violate both the national judiciary and prosecution and the victims if it forgot about the crimes committed by Haradinaj.

BRNABIC ATTENDS MINISTERIAL MEETING OF WESTERN BALKAN STATES IN TIRANA

TIRANA, 18 May 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Ana Brnabic participated in Tirana on May 18 in a regional conference on executing public services in countries of the Western Balkans titled Initiatives and Innovation on the Road to the EU, her ministry said in a statement. Albanian Minister of Innovation and Public Administration Milena Harito, Montenegrin Minister of Public Administration Suzana Pribilovic and Macedonian Minister of IT and Public Administration Marta Arsovska Tomovska also participated in the conference, which was organized by the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA). The ministers of public administration of the Western Balkan countries presented the status of public administration reforms in their countries. The purpose of the conference was to stress all of the essential preconditions for improving the quality of services for citizens and the economy, which leads to a rational, transparent and responsible system of state administration, a statement said. For the countries of the Western Balkans, conducting public administration reforms remains a key priority in accession talks with the EU. Over 40 speakers who represented the Western Balkans, nine EU member states and regional and European organizations and institutions participated in the conference. In a speech, Brnabic said that "Serbia is firmly on a reform path. Reforming public administration as the third pillar in the process of joining the EU, is one of the priorities of the Republic of Serbia's government. The ministry I lead is the main coordinator of the process and my team and I are entirely devoted to achieving lasting results in reforming the public sector in Serbia, which is a very complex process."

ECONOMY

CANADIAN FIRM OPENS CAR UPHOLSTERY FACILITY IN ODZACI

ODZACI, 18 May 2017 (Beta) - Canada's Magna Seating on May 18 opened a facility in Odzaci, in a bid to expand its car upholstery production capacity. The company launched production in Odzaci four years ago and employed 300 workers, whereas now it employs roughly 1,200 people. The Serbian government has so far given Magna subsidies worth around EUR4.5 million for the creation of new jobs. The opening of the new facility in Odzaci was attended by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, the ministers of economy and labor, Goran Knezevic and Aleksandar Vulin, Canadian Ambassador to Serbia Philip Pinnington and representatives of the company management and local authorities. Vucic said that investors who employed workers were welcome in Serbia, which the government would back with subsidies.

LJAJIC: THE AIM IS TO MAKE SERBIA A REGIONAL CENTER FOR CHINESE INVESTMENT

BELGRADE, 18 May 2017 (Beta) - Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic said on May 18 that the aim was to make Belgrade and Serbia a regional center for Chinese investment and Chinese companies. Speaking at the opening of the international fair of Chinese manufacturers, dubbed The 2017 Zhejiang Export Fair Serbia, in Belgrade, Ljajic said that Belgrade now stood alongside big cities, such as Berlin, Moscow and London, which had hosted fairs of Chinese manufacturers and companies. "Our intention is to make Belgrade and Serbia a regional center, an economic hub for Chinese investment and Chinese companies in this part of Europe," he said. In his words, the fair is proof that the strategic agreement between Serbia and China is not just "a dead letter" and that the cooperation is expanding to include the economy and companies. Ljajic said that he expected this fair to also contribute to increasing trade and direct contact between Chinese and Serbian businesspeople. "Serbia imports goods worth USD1.6 billion from China, 51 percent of which is imported from third countries, even though the goods are Chinese," said Ljajic. More than 60 companies from the Chinese province of Zhejiang are taking part in the fair, which is open until May 20.

BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES FROM DUBAI, SERBIA TALK ABOUT COOPERATION

BELGRADE, 18 May 2017 (Beta) - Representatives from 20 companies from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) met with the representatives of domestic business, to discuss developing cooperation in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce on May 18. The delegation of Dubai Export, a Dubai government agency which conducts business within the emirate's Department of Economic Development, includes business representatives from 10 sectors. Dubai Export deputy GM Mohammed Al Kamali said that talks on May 18 were a way for Serbian businesspeople to get to know the Islamic economy, so that they could present themselves in that market. "Our goal is to open the doors between our two peoples and link the small, medium and big companies in our countries," Al Kamali said. "There are many examples that can convince us of the large potential for our cooperation and our embassy is ready to help develop relations between our businesspeople," UAE Ambassador to Serbia Juma Rashed Al Dhaheri stressed. Serbian Chamber of Commerce director of international business cooperation Nenad Djurdjevic said that there was a great potential in Serbia for companies from Dubai to invest in, and added that there were many areas in which cooperation could be developed, such as tourism, agriculture and technology.

SERBIAN, HUNGARIAN CHAMBERS SIGN CONTRACT

NOVI SAD, 18 May 2017 (Beta) - A contract on cooperation between the Vojvodina Chamber of Commerce, the Hungarian-Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Hungarian-Serbian Business Council was signed at the Novi Sad Fair on May 18 during a Vojvodina-Hungarian business forum. Hungarian Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Petra Pana said that indicators in economic exchange between the two countries "are record-breaking," and that that the future of strengthening relations between Hungary and Serbia lay in intensifying cooperation in the area of agriculture. Pana said that cooperation could improve in the joint production of agricultural machines and innovative agrarian technologies. Deputy head of the provincial administration Djordje Milicevic stressed that trade between Serbia and Hungary equaled USD488 million, which was around six percent higher on the year. Milicevic called on Hungarian businesses to invest their free capital in the territory of Vojvodina, stressing that the provincial cabinet, as well as the newly established Development Agency of Vojvodina would offer their strong support to their business operations.

DAILY SURVEY

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