Officials praise "excellent" Serbia-Azerbaijan ties

BELGRADE -- Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić received on Tuesday in Belgrade Azerbaijani Minister of Economy and Industry Shahin Mustafayev.

(Tanjug)
(Tanjug)

Investment in production is the only way for Serbia to emerge from the crisis, the president said during the meeting.

"The entire Serbian economy should be upgraded through cooperation with foreign investors, on solid foundations. The only way for Serbia to emerge from the crisis is to invest in production, find new sources of revenues, and not only to implement austerity measures. That's why all those who want to invest in the economy are welcome to Serbia, primarily those coming from friendly countries," he said.

Serbia has begun negotiations with the EU, and now it has a chance to put the state in order on the model of developed European countries. On the other hand, that will not affect excellent relations that Serbia has with numerous countries across the world, he said.

The Azerbaijani minister conveyed to Nikolić President Aliyev's regards, noting that Serbia and Azerbaijan had signed numerous agreements which, together with their friendship, represent a stable basis for development of excellent bilateral relations.

"In the previous period, the volume of trade between Serbia and Azerbaijan increased several times, but there is still much room for improvement," he added.

"Nikolić and the Azerbaijani minister concluded that the joint projects are unfolding according to the plan, and since 2014 has been declared the year of industry in Azerbaijan, another field opened in which Serbian and Azerbaijani companies could work together," Tanjug quoted an official statement issued after the meeting.

Partnership

Serbia's outgoing Trade Minister Radim Ljajić and Azerbaijan's Shahin Mustafayev signed on Tuesday in Belgrade an agreement on strategic partnership, the Beta news agency reported.

Agriculture, energy and industry are the fields in which Serbia and Azerbaijan can promote their cooperation, it was concluded on Tuesday at a meeting of the intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation between Serbia and Azerbaijan, Tanjug said.

The goal of the governments of Serbia and Azerbaijan is to raise the economic relations to the level of the two countries' political ties, which are excellent, said the two officials.

Ljajić said after the signing of the protocol that there are no open political issues between Serbia and Azerbaijan, adding that the relations have been raised to the level of strategic partnership.

The two countries have signed 20 bilateral agreements, which is a basis for their cooperation in various sectors, he said.

Ljajić said that all conditions are met for Serbia and Azerbaijan to establish cooperation in the areas of tourism, pharmaceutical industry, culture, education and sports.