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China-CEE meeting brings new opportunities, promotes Serbia

Updated: Dec 16,2014 4:54 AM     Xinhua

BELGRADE — The upcoming leaders’ meeting of China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries to be held in Serbia marks the beginning of new infrastructural projects of regional importance, Ljubodrag Savic, professor of economy at the Belgrade University, told Xinhua in an interview on Dec 15.

Savic, who teaches industrial economics in the Faculty for Economy, told Xinhua that during the upcoming meeting and economic forum to be held on Dec 16-17, Serbia becomes a venue where regional projects will be negotiated with China.

“This can present an extremely positive impulse for Serbia, as the EU views a country from a different perspective when it has an ally such as China on its side. Also Serbia can gain importance in the region if the agreement on the construction of a regional high-speed railway corridor is made at the summit,” Savic said.

He estimated that the Chinese investments into Serbia are developing very well which increases the overall cooperation between the two countries.

“I think that there is a mutual interest that China becomes more present on Serbian market,” Savic said.

“Serbia is negotiating to enter the EU, and that makes it interesting for China, while on the other hand our country for several years suffers from the economic crisis, with budget cuts and low level of investments. We have huge needs, especially in areas of infrastructure and energy facilities,” Savic said.

He stressed that the whole region should use the opportunity to initiate new projects such as the planned high speed railway that will connect Budapest, capital of Hungary, and Belgrade, with plans to expand it further across the region.

“China has the interest for investing into infrastructural projects so it would get a cheaper, easier and faster access to European market,” Savic explained, adding that the soon-to-be-opened bridge across the Danube River between Zemun and Borca in Belgrade is a good example of a developing cooperation.

“The Chinese side realized the investment in time. This bridge has high importance for Serbia while at the same time it did not cost too much,” he said.

He estimated that “both economic and political relations of the two countries are developing well, and to Serbia’s benefit.”