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Favorable conditions for Serbian companies, Serbian investments in Belarus underscored

Economy 19.04.2017 | 19:57
Vladimir Koltovich. An archive photo
Vladimir Koltovich. An archive photo

BELGRADE, 19 April (BelTA) – Favorable conditions have been enabled in Belarus for the operation of Serbian companies and for making Serbian investments. The statement was made by Belarusian Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Minister Vladimir Koltovich during the tenth session of the Belarusian-Serbian intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation in Belgrade on 19 April, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Koltovich remarked that two major investment projects involving Serbian businessmen are being implemented in Minsk — Mayak Minsk and Minsk World. During the official visit of Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to Belarus on 26-27 January 2017 an official ceremony to open the business center Dana Center and the shopping center Dana Mall took place. The business center and the mall were built as part of the Minsk World project.

Vladimir Koltovich also said that the implementation of another investment project involving Serbian partners began in early 2017 — the construction of the multifunctional complex BK Capital Center in Oktyabrskaya Square in Minsk.

In his words, investing in Belarus became particularly attractive once the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) became operational on 1 January 2015. Favorable conditions for taking the potential of Belarusian-Serbian trade, economic, and investment cooperation to the next level are available within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union.

The minister said that the idea to establish a Balkan site to assemble, offer maintenance and sell products of a Belarusian-Serbian joint venture to Serbia and other countries in the region came to life when enterprises to assemble tractors, buses, and trucks were established in Serbia. For instance, the Belarusian brand MTZ is well-known in Serbia and has reliably secured its market niche over there. “We try to take into account Serbian interests and ensure maximum localization of the jointly manufactured products. In many areas we represent a serious competition for companies from third countries,” said Vladimir Koltovich.

As an example Vladimir Koltovich mentioned the promising project for modernizing the fire truck fleet in Serbia. “We are ready to create a Serbian product based on MAZ chassis together with the prominent Serbian company Vatrosprem. We can also offer good financial terms.”

As promising and mutually beneficial avenues the Belarusian antimonopoly regulation and trade minister mentioned the development of international manufacturing cooperation and the establishment of an international holding company based on Belavtogaz and Petar Drapsin for the sake of making automobile components.

Apart from that, the Belarusian side is interested in supporting the MTZ tractor assembly enterprise in Novi Sad by getting the enterprise included into national and regional agriculture development programs. Belarus expects the Kragujevac-based joint venture MAZ-Balkan to take part in all the tenders for selling buses and gas engine trucks to Serbian government agencies. It may be advisable to use MAZ-Balkan's practices to assemble Belarusian buses and consider the possibility of using the enterprise to assemble MAZ-ETON trolleybuses.

The Belarusian antimonopoly regulation and trade minister also noted that Belarusian MTZ, MAZ, and other companies buy accumulators, paint, glass, seats, and other components in Serbia. Thus, they implement the idea of European-Eurasian integration for the benefit of the two countries and the two nations.

During the session of the intergovernmental commission Vladimir Koltovich also thanked the honorary consuls of Belarus in Serbia Dragomir Karic, Zoran Vulovic, and Dragoljub Svonja for their active contribution to the advancement of bilateral cooperation.

During the session the Serbian delegation was led by Economy Minister Goran Knezevic.

Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Serbia Vladimir Chushev, Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich also took part in the session as well as representatives of the Agriculture and Food Ministry, the Industry Ministry, the Sports and Tourism Ministry, top officials of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, representatives of Belarusian and Serbian business circles.

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