By Sabina Ahmadova
The relations between Serbia and Azerbaijan are being developed on a solid basis without unresolved issues and with high dynamics. In this context, Serbia is interested in the comprehensive relations with a special emphasis on the strengthening of economic and cultural cooperation, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Ivica Dacic told Trend on the eve of his visit to Azerbaijan.
Dacic said the visit will take place at the invitation of Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. The negotiations to be held with the leadership and senior officials of the country are a continuation of the good political relations. Along with other aspects, they must encourage and intensify the economic cooperation.
As for the possible simplification of the visa regime with Azerbaijan, Dacic said that Serbia delivered draft documents on the abolition of visas in September 2010. According to this package, it is expected to abolish visas for up to 30 days. In this regard, the need and importance of further liberalization of the visa regime were stressed taking into account the expanding economic and tourism relations between the two countries.
“We expect the response of our Azerbaijani friends,” Dacic added.
“Serbia is a country with great potential in the economic and financial fields,” he added. “We are very interested in Azerbaijan’s investments, in particular in the field of energy and infrastructure. There are joint projects in these areas that can serve as an example of successful cooperation.”
He added that Serbia welcomes investors from Azerbaijan and the most favorable conditions will be created for them. The country is open to new proposals and investments in other areas on mutually beneficial terms.
“The Serbian side shows great interest in the unused huge opportunity in the field of construction, information and communication technologies, medicines and medical equipment, food sector, tourism and others,” Dacic added.
He stressed that there are many more opportunities for cooperation between Serbia and Azerbaijan than that done so far.
“The main type of economic cooperation is trade,” he added. “But the indices of our trade turnover are modest,” he added. “Serbia is also interested in other forms of economic cooperation, as I have already stressed, in investments in production potential.”
“Serbia welcomes any project aimed at a stable power supply to consumers in Europe,” he said. “At present, Serbia focuses on the implementation of “South Stream” gas project.”
“The Azerbaijani side informed us about other projects concerning this area, in which the Republic is involved, such as, for example, TANAP,” he said. “This project is an interesting proposal. We hope that joint efforts of Azerbaijan and its partners will be successful for all participants of these projects.”