Potential in many areas: "Serbia is striving to be as present as possible in the African region"
Speaking about economic cooperation, he said that Serbia is making an effort to be as present in the African region as possible, and that there is potential in many areas, especially agriculture and energy
First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said today that Serbia nurtures good and friendly relations with countries on the African continent, while the level of economic cooperation should be improved.
At the business conference "Continental Opportunities in Trade and Investment Cooperation between Africa and the Western Balkans: Serbia as a Case Study" - Dacic recalled that Serbia has always supported the struggle of African countries for their independence and freedom.
Speaking about economic cooperation, he said that Serbia is making an effort to be as present in the African region as possible, and that there is potential in many areas, especially agriculture and energy.
Dacic said that the volume of trade between Serbia and African countries is slightly less than $200 million annually, and that this indicates there is room for strengthening cooperation both quantitatively and qualitatively.
"We are also ready to improve cooperation in the field of energy, and I also believe that there is potential for connecting small and medium-sized enterprises from our countries and regions. We are particularly interested in once again engaging our construction companies and assets in this sector, and when I talk about that I'm referring especially to the countries of northern Africa, but also to the sub-Saharan Africa," said Dacic.
He urged businessmen from Serbia to be as present in Africa as possible.
"In the hope that together we will understand the importance of the African continent, I urge our businessmen and politicians to be as present in Africa as possible, that is where they must go," said the head of Serbian diplomacy.
He emphasized that in those countries, the former Yugoslavia continues to be perceived as the first country who was their friend, helping them through the most difficult times, and that they remember the help in the fight for independence and economic development.
There is no country in Africa where Serbia has not built something, Dacic said, adding that there is also no country that didn't have its students receive their education in Yugoslavia.
We need to renew that cooperation today, Dacic said, adding that the countries of Africa also respect us internationally and support us.
He stressed the importance of establishing economic and bilateral relations with the African Union.
He also stressed that an agreement on economic cooperation has been signed and that this should also be negotiated.
Together with the African Union and the African continent, we should fight for a free trade system, Dacic said, recalling that some Serbian companies are already present in that market.
The business conference "Continental Opportunities in Trade and Investment Cooperation between Africa and the Western Balkans: Serbia as a Case Study" is organized in Belgrade by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS), in cooperation with the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The meeting was also addressed by PKS President Marko Cadez, as well as ambassadors of Algeria, Egypt, and representatives of the African Union's Commission.
The goal of the event is to present examples of good practice in doing business with countries on the African continent, but also to identify problems in doing business with the African market, improve trade relations and enhance investment cooperation between African regions and the Western Balkan region.
The signing of the Continental Free Trade Agreement has created the largest market in the world, with more than a billion potential consumers, while the Western Balkans region by enhancing its chamber capacities raises the level of regional economic cooperation and empowers companies to compete in the international market, it has been said during the gathering.