Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service
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DAILY SURVEY 02.06.2017.
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ST. PETERSBURG, 1 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, who is heading the Serbian delegation at the 21st International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, stated at the opening of the forum on June 1 that Serbia attributed great significance to economic cooperation with all the biggest world factors and that it wanted to have as many foreign companies and foreign capital on the Serbian market as possible. In his address of the participants of the Forum, where Serbia has the status of guest country, Dacic advocated the strengthening of economic cooperation with Russia in all segments. He stressed that Serbia was determined to develop the best possible political and economic relations with all countries that wanted to, on the basis of equality and mutual respect. In the address, Dacic said that political and economic stability in many world regions depended on the economic growth, stability and success of large world economies, such as Russia, the U.S., China, Germany and India. He said that this year's Forum was being held at a time when the most important world economies were showing signs of economic growth and recovery after the global crisis, and that concrete agreements at the highest levels should incite the continuing of that process, because that would help smaller countries have better results in their national economies. As an important factor, Dacic pointed out that Serbia was one of the rare countries which had free trade agreements with the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan, as well as with the EU, Turkey and the countries of EFTA and CEFTA. Ahead of the start of the Forum, Dacic told reporters that he had met with the director of Gazprom Neft, Alexander Dyukov and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Dmitry Rogozin, with whom he agreed for the next session of the Mixed Committee to be held in Serbia in October. Rogozin, Dacic added, said he wanted all new Russian technologies to be presented on that occasion, together with the possibilities for participation of Serbian experts in some projects in the fields of energy and aviation. Dacic said ahead of the opening of the Forum that Serbia should make better use of the fact that it had a free trade agreement with Russia, in attracting Russian investments, through the opening of industrial zones for Russian businesses, so that they would invest in production in Serbia. "The level of economic exchange with Russia of two and a half billion can be exceeded and I think we can move towards something Shoygu and I discussed back in 2008 - for economic exchange to reach four billion dollars," Dacic stated. He also announced that, on June 2, he would meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and the prime minister of Mongolia, Jargaltulgyn Erdenebat. Besides Dacic, members of the Serbian delegation at the International Economic Forum are the ministers of economy Goran Knezevic, agriculture Branislav Nedimovic, and mining and energy, Aleksandar Antic, as well as the president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Marko Cadez.


ST. PETERSBURG, 1 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Economy Goran Knezevic said on June 1 in St. Petersburg that Serbia wanted to attract as many investors as possible and that it was also interested in joint appearances on third markets. "I had several bilateral meetings with businesspeople from various countries, especially from Russia, who declared their interest in cooperation," he said in connection with Serbia's participation in the economic forum. In his words, Serbia is also interested in joint investments and appearances on third markets. "We want higher levels of cooperation, starting from the forming of joint companies, joint investments and appearances on third markets, and this Forum will bring us those exact initiatives," Knezevic said. Over the past 20 years, this Forum has become the leading global platform for the representatives of the business community to consider the key economic problems faced by Russia, the developing markets and the world as a whole. Around a dozen companies from the food, construction, aviation, energy, transportation and telecommunication industries are represented at the National Stand of Serbia.



BELGRADE, 1 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on June 1 thanked the U.S. for donating 19 Humvee military vehicles, worth a total of USD3.8 million, praising them as vehicles of exceptional performance that would improve the capabilities of the Serbian Armed Forces. At the donation ceremony in Pancevo, Vucic said the army now had 40 vehicles of that type, which could be used in both combat and non-combat tasks, and that Serbia was additionally improving them with various types of armaments and armor. In his words, 14 Humvees are currently in the barracks in Zajecar, three in the Technical Overhaul Institute and four are in use in peace missions, so the donation of an additional 19 is very welcome. He also expressed gratitude for the help of the National Guard of Ohio in the repairing of facilities and said he hoped such practice would continue. Asked if and when the MiG-29 fighter jets would arrive from Russia - a donation that was announced back in December 2016, Vucic replied that he hoped this would take place soon. "I hope and expect for this to be finished within the next two months, as I have been informed... This will solve the problems with our Air Force, where we have the most problems," Vucic stated. The U.S. ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott, said he was particularly pleased with the fact that Vucic had decided to attend the donation on his first day as president, and that this gift reflected the broad military partnership between the U.S. and Serbia. We remain the most active and biggest investors in the Serbian Armed Forces, by which we demonstrate our interest in regional stability and collective work on the preservation of peace. I hope one day we will see your Humvees and ours on the same mission, Scott said, recollecting that, in the past ten years, America had helped the holding of more than 30 multinational military exercises and that a joint medical mission in Angola was also being planned. Scott said Serbia could not have found better and cheaper equipment, since the vehicles were a gift and cost nothing. The U.S. also pledged to secure training, spare parts and two years of free maintenance.


BELGRADE, 1 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic met on June 1 with a delegation of the Association of Chinese Businesspeople in Vojvodina, and they concurred during the meeting that, over the past few years, relations between Serbia and China had "developed strongly at all levels, especially in commerce." According to a statement of the Serbian Parliament, Maja Gojkovic cited as positive examples the contract with Hesteel on the Zelezara Smederevo steelworks, and numerous projects in the fields of energy, railway and road infrastructure, and many others. She said the Parliament had adopted a series of laws that enabled a better investment environment, such as the agreement on the mutual abolishing of visas. Gojkovic said the role of the parliaments was important in the development of relations between the two countries, and that, in this context, the realization of a visit by the speaker of the Chinese Parliament, Zhang Dejiang, to Serbia would be particularly important. The representatives of the Association said they had accomplished significant cooperation with the authorities in Vojvodina and with representatives of a number of local administration units, and that talks were under way on the realization of a number of important projects.


BRATISLAVA, 1 June 2017 (Beta) - The Visegrad Group will coordinate activities with Serbia and Romania to expose illegal employment and the violation of the rights of workers from Serbia and Romania who mostly find work in the Visegrad Group countries through mediating agencies, Slovak Minister of Labor Jan Richter agreed with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vulin and representatives of the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Romania, in Bratislava on June 1. Richter called the meeting because the first experiences of the countries of the Visegrad Group which need foreign labor have revealed major abuses. Serbian Labor Minister Aleksandar Vulin voiced his gratitude to Slovakia for reacting to the problems of illegal Serbian labor and quickly changing regulations. "Serbia's biggest interest is for people to stay and work in our countries. If that, however, for any reason is not possible then we would like their position to be regulated, we want them to be protected, we want them to be equal to any other worker. There cannot be differences between human beings only because someone comes from a country that is not a member of the EU," Vulin told a news conference after the meeting. The ministers of the region, Serbia and Romania where mediation agencies are also bringing workers en masse to V4 countries for temporary jobs, have agreed, Vulin said, to link national labor inspectorates and ministries so that they could learn in a timely fashion where the workers are going, what their contracts are and who their employers are. The ministers arranged measures which will make it harder to rent workers to mediation agencies and at the same time force employers not to violate workers' and union rights. Around 5,800 workers from Serbia are employed in Slovakia, of whom fewer than 600 have individual work permits from the Slovak labor bureaus, while the others were brought via often shady employment agencies.


BELGRADE, 1 June 2017 (Beta) - On June 1 Serbian Minister of Interior Nebojsa Stefanovic met with Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Li Manchang, with whom he discussed enhancing cooperation in the area of fighting organized crime, the Ministry said in a press release. Stefanovic and Li Manchang agreed that cooperation was on a high level and that it would continue to be on that level. Stefanovic stressed that further efforts would be taken to improve police cooperation, the press release said.


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