Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service
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DAILY SURVEY 01.11.2018.
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BELGRADE, 31 October 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated on Oct. 31 that it was illusory to expect a decision on the issue of Kosovo in Paris on Nov. 11, at the celebration of Armistice Day. He said the solution was not in sight, but that he was ready to talk with everybody. Vucic said it was impossible for Kosovo to become a U.N. member without the consent of Russia and China, but also of Serbia. The Serbian president also spoke about the need to establish a border with Kosovo because, at this moment, he did not know where it was. "I know what is written, but when I go to Kosovo, there is another one," Vucic said. He added that any compromise between Belgrade and Pristina would be hard for the two sides, but also such that both sides can be at least partially satisfied.


BELGRADE, 31 October 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic had talks with Belarus President Aleksandar Lukasenko and Prime Minister Sergei Rumas, in Minsk on Oct. 31, her office in Belgrade has stated. Brnabic handed Lukasenko the letter of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in which he "thanked President Lukasenko for Belarus' friendly relations with Serbia and for respect and understanding in solving the Kosovo issue," the statement reads. "The help of Belarus in the preservation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia has been invaluable," Vucic wrote in the letter and repeated the invitation to Lukasenko to visit Serbia. During the meeting with Belarus prime minister, Brnabic also thanked Belarus for its "support in solving the issue of Kosovo and Metohija." She added that "Serbia will always be a devoted friend of Belarus" and invited Prime Minister Rumas to visit Serbia. The two prime ministers acknowledged the fact that trade volume was below EUR100 million and discussed cooperation in the sectors of energy, agriculture, construction and the automobile industry. "Serbia is the crucial country in the Balkans for Belarus and we will do our best to develop this cooperation further," the Belarus prime minister said. In Belarus, Brnabic is taking part and has addressed the meeting of the Munich Security Conference.


BELGRADE, 31 October 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and the prime minister of Moldova, Pavel Filip, assessed during their meeting in Minsk on Oct. 31 that relations between the two countries were friendly and that there was room for their improvement, especially in economic cooperation. Brnabic told Filip on the margins of the meeting of the Munich Security Conference that Serbia "very much appreciated Moldova's stand about not recognizing the independence of Kosovo and Metohija," the Serbian government has stated. "Serbia is extremely grateful for Moldova's support to the preservation of its territorial integrity and sovereignty," the Serbian prime minister said. She added that Serbia's strategic goal was joining the EU, and informed Prime Minister Filip about the reforms carried out by the Serbian government, aimed at securing a better living standard for the people and a more favorable business environment. Filip said trade between Serbia and Moldova was growing and that there was a lot of room for increasing it, especially in exports, the statement reads.


BELGRADE, 31 October 2018 (Beta) - Addressing a meeting of the Munich Security Conference main group on Oct. 31, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said that the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue was already difficult and complicated, which was why it was important not to additionally burden it by setting "red lines," according to a statement. "In this context, Germany's support is important for us. A compromise solution is the key to stability and security in the region and the crucial factor for the economic prospects and prosperity of all citizens in the region," Brnabic said, adding that it was not a simple process and that dialogue was the only way to achieving a long-lasting, sustainable solution. She said that it was in Serbia's interest to find a sustainable solution and that Belgrade "is committed to the dialogue and finding a compromise through dialogue." Brnabic is attending the meeting in Minsk at the invitation of diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger, conference chairman, committed to addressing current regional and global security issues.


BELGRADE, 31 October 2018 (Beta) - In a meeting on Oct. 31, Environmental Protection Minister Goran Trivan and Swedish Ambassador to Serbia Jan Lundin underlined the importance of continuous cooperation between the two countries in the field of environmental protection and said they were ready to successfully continue such cooperation, according to a release from the Environmental Protection Ministry. Trivan thanked Sweden for its support and assistance to Serbia in carrying out projects contributing to environmental protection, noting that it also represented an important impetus to the process toward opening Chapter 27, dealing with the environment and climate change, and to achieving environmental standards in Serbia. "Cooperation with Sweden in the domain of environmental protection is excellent, but it does not mean that it cannot be further enhanced," Trivan said. Ambassador Lundin said that Sweden was particularly committed to environmental issues, which was why in the coming period it would continue to back Serbia on its path of establishing European and world environmental standards.


BELGRADE, 31 October 2018 (Beta) - The Serbian minister for construction, transportation and infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlovic, stated on Oct. 31 that Serbia could make much more progress in reforms and that the goal was for it to reach the top 30 on the Doing Business list of the World Bank. "We are not satisfied in the government with the rate of progress in reforms. We must be quicker and more efficient. We have implemented reforms, adopted laws, but we must be quicker," Mihajlovic said at the annual conference "Doing Business 2019 - Digital Transformation and Strengthening of Serbia's Competitiveness." Commenting on the Doing Business list that was published on Oct. 31, where Serbia dropped from the 43rd to the 48th place, she said she believed that it would be shown in the World Bank's 2019 ranking of countries according to progress in reforming the business environment, that Serbia can have better results. During the conference, organized by NALED, the World Bank and the Embassy of the United Kingdom, it was estimated that Serbia had been active in some categories, but that the reforms had not been performed in time to be included in the list, and that their effect would be expected in subsequent reports. It was estimated at the conference that the Doing Business list showed that digitalization was the key to creating better conditions for business, because it reduced the number of required steps and administration costs, which investors and the World Bank appreciate very much. The biggest support to the development of e-governance in Serbia, worth EUR5.2 million, arrived from the Good Governance Fund of the government of the United Kingdom. The Doing Business report should be used for setting priorities. Businesses in Serbia open easily, but close with difficulty. Access to finance is hard, especially in the early stages of development. It is necessary to speed up court proceedings and the solving of receiverships, where the Good Governance Fund also supports reforms, British Ambassador Denis Keefe has stated. The chief of the World Bank's office in Serbia, Stephen Ndegwa, explained that the methodology of the Doing Business list measured each country's distance from the best regulatory practices in 10 categories, which makes it easier for governments to measure their success in reforms. The special guest of the 3rd annual conference was the former prime minister of Georgia, Nika Gilauri, who shared the experience in reforms, thanks to which his country rose from 112th to 8th place on the Doing Business list from 2004 to 2014. Georgia is the most successful country in the World Bank's ranking with 47 implemented reforms. It was especially efficient in reforming the cadastre (first in the world), issuing of building licenses, protection of minority shareholders and starting businesses (second in the world).


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