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Cvetkovic calls for closer cooperation with Spain

08. October 2011. | 08:56

Source: Tanjug

Serbia's Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said Friday that the excellent friendship between Serbia and Spain should be accompanied by closer economic cooperation.

Serbia's Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said Friday that the excellent friendship between Serbia and Spain should be accompanied by closer economic cooperation.

Speaking at an economic forum in Madrid, Cvetkovic stated he expected his visit to encourage Spanish investors to come to Serbia.

He invited Spanish companies to get involved in the privatization in Serbia, but also to opt for greenfield investments, stressing that the government offered significant tax relief and incentives.

Many infrastructure projects lie before Serbia, Cvetkovic emphasized, adding that billions of euros will be invested in infrastructure over the coming years. He invited Spanish companies to offer bids for contracts related to the road and railway infrastructure.

The participants included numerous businessmen, politicians and journalists. Besides the privatization, they wished to learn about the effects of the new economic crisis in Serbia, relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), recent issue of eurobonds, EU integration and the situation in Kosovo.

The prime minister stated that Serbia was on a steady course towards the EU and that the government's key goal was to get the status of a candidate for EU membership and the start date for the accession talks by the end of the year.

Serbia does not have an interest in freezing the conflict in Kosovo, but wants to reach a long-term and sustainable solution through talks with Pristina, he said.

Commenting on the economic situation in the country, Cvetkovic remarked that Serbia had been better in dealing with the consequences of the global economic crisis than the other countries in the region and that it was the only country to improve its credit rating during that time.

Serbia will definitely feel the new wave of the economic crisis, mostly because its export markets will be hit, he noted, underscoring he did not expect that to threaten the nation's economic growth.

Serbia has continued to work with the IMF by establishing a precautionary arrangement, which guarantees a credible economic policy, he pointed out, also adding that USD 1 billion worth of eurobonds had recently been issued.

According to the prime minister, Serbia is implementing a plan to improve the business environment, which means removing unnecessary bureaucracy, reforming the education system, supporting export-oriented companies, fighting all forms of corruption and adopting European laws at an accelerated pace.

The government has a clear plan on how to implement large infrastructure projects by 2015, which refer to transport, energy, telecommunications and the development of the information society, Cvetkovic remarked.

He met Thursday with King of Spain Juan Carlos and Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and presented Serbia's investment potential to the Employers Confederation of Spain.


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24. October - 30. October 2011.