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DAILY SURVEY 02.10.2018.
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SERBIA

DACIC MEETS WITH U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES IN GENEVA

BELGRADE, 1 October 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic met in Geneva with U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, using the opportunity to complain about a decision to revoke the refugee status for persons exiled from Croatia in 1995. Grandi reiterated at the meeting that "Serbia's positive, humane and constructive role during the refugee and migrant waves" was recognized and regarded highly by his office and the international community, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported. The U.N. high commissioner accepted Serbia's suggestion that the Regional Housing Program should be maintained and expanded, the ministry said. Dacic thanked Grandi for constructive cooperation and support from his office, the ministry went on to say.

VUCIC: NO SOLUTION TO ANY PROBLEM WITHOUT RUSSIA

BELGRADE, 1 October 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in Moscow, on Oct. 1 that he would ask Russian President Vladimir Putin for concrete political support to Serbia, declaring that "without Russia there can be no solution to any problem plaguing the Serbs." On the eve of his Oct. 2 meeting with Putin, Vucic told reporters that the timing of the encounter was "one of the most important to Serbia in years." "The situation in our region is very complex and every word and political move must be weighed. At a time when we are advancing economically, we have significant political problems in the region and a lot where it isn't completely certain what the outcome may be if there is any disruption of stability and peace. That is exactly why the meeting with Putin is of particular importance," the president of Serbia said. He said he was not expecting "spectacular things" from his talks with Putin, but confirmation of support to Serbia and the advancement of the friendship between the two states and peoples. According to him, political and economic relations are good, but he said they "must be much better." "Our trade is not directly proportional to the strength of our political relations and we must work on that most concretely. We need Russia in everything, in politics and in the economy. That is why we must have the closest relations with Russia," Vucic said.

BRNABIC: FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION GREAT CHANCE FOR SERBIA, REGION

BELGRADE, 1 October 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Oct. 1 that the fourth industrial revolution was a huge chance for Serbia and other countries in the region to catch up with the developed world. She told the Seventh Summit of 100 Business Leaders of South East Europe in Belgrade that this was why digitization was one of the top priorities for the Serbian government and was receiving such attention. "Carried on the wave of the fourth industrial revolution, marked by digitization, I believe this can be a region of winners, of leaders in innovation and the application of new technology and economic growth," Brnabic said. She stressed that Serbia was on a very good path as gross domestic product growth had been 4.9 percent in the first half of the year, making it one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. She added that growth above four percent was expected by the end of the year. According to Stanka Pejanovic, head of the Serbian Association of Managers and the chairwoman of the Summit of 100 Business Leaders board of directors, never has it been so necessary for civil society, the business community and education to join forces in the SEE region to build an economy that can compete on the global market. She said the summit would focus on digital transformation and opportunities for regional networking in order to benefit from the changes brought about by the fourth industrial revolution. The summit brings together 100 most eminent business leaders from Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania. The initiative was launched by the Serbian Association of Managers, the Association of Managers of Slovenia and the Croatian Association of Employers, later joined by other business partners from the region. The first 100 Summit was held in Arandjelovac in October 2011, while the last, sixth conference took place in Skopje in October 2017.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FOR FREE TRADE BETWEEN SERBIA, EGYPT

BELGRADE, 1 October 2018 (Beta) - The Serbian Chamber of Commerce has launched an initiative for a bilateral free trade contract between Serbia and Egypt, Jelena Jovanovic, director of the sector for international economic relations, said on Oct. 1. She told a round table on advancing economic cooperation between Serbia and Egypt, that commodity exchange between the two countries was low, amounting to USD69.3 million last year. "Serbia exported USD30 million's worth of goods to Egypt last year, and imported USD39 million's worth, which means there is a nine-million-dollar deficit," Jovanovic said, adding that the top exports to Egypt were military products and tobacco, while the top import was calcium phosphate. According to her, opportunities for export exist in the sectors of agriculture, food and rubber production, mining, construction, the IT industry, the industries of furniture, automotive components and energy sector equipment. Jovanovic said an initiative had been launched to establish air traffic between Belgrade and Cairo. Egyptian Ambassador to Serbia Amr Aljowaily said the purpose of the round table was to chart an action plan on cooperation.

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