Vucic with Riester; "For the subway at least 4.4 billion"
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, met today with Franck Riester, the French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic PromotionSource: B92, Tanjug
On this occasion, an Agreement was signed between the two governments on cooperation in the field of implementation of priority projects in Serbia. After that, press statements are planned.
The meeting, as previously announced, is scheduled for 11 am, in the building of the General Secretariat of the President of the Republic, Media Relations Office of the President announced.
President Vučić pointed out that he especially appreciates friends who show their friendship under difficult conditions and circumstances.
"Thank you very much for coming to Serbia at the time of the strongest wave and the toughest blow of the coronavirus on Serbia and the whole of Europe, thus showing how friendly the French state, French President and French Government are to our country," Vucic said.
He told the guest from France that they are always welcome in Serbia. Vučić said that the agreement is very important, because it will contribute to the modernization of the electric network, which, he says, has been discussed with "Schneider Electric" for a long time, but for various reasons, the agreement has not been reached and signed yet.
"Now the agreement has been signed, thanks to the determination of the President of France and the commitment of the French partners, as well as our hard work and progress," Vucic said.
He announced that the real construction works on the construction of the subway will start in a year.
"Work will be done on the first line that will connect Makis and Mirijevo. This is an important line, which will modernize Belgrade and contribute to the improvement of citizens' standards," the president explained.
The Minister of Finance, Siniša Mali, also spoke on that topic, who attended the signing of the agreement, and who then specified that the investment in question was worth a total of 581 million euros.
He added that Serbia will be the first in Europe in terms of growth rate, and this agreement is only a confirmation of Serbian-French friendship.
"This is a confirmation of our commitment to work diligently on projects," he pointed out, adding that now is the time to make transition from words to deeds.
He added that another cluster of chapters with the EU is expected to remain unopened in the first half of next year.
"We should open most of the chapters, and we need French support in order to achieve this goal", he added.
According to him, it is expected that the construction of the subway will not cost less than 4.4 billion.
"We will not allow our public debt to exceed 60%, regardless of investments," Vucic emphasized.
Riester: Joint projects lead to even better confidence in good cooperation
French Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Promotion Franck Riester stated that the construction of the Belgrade metro in cooperation with France will be an important step for further modernization of Belgrade and the whole of Serbia.
After signing the Agreement between the two governments on cooperation in the field of implementation of priority projects in Serbia in the presence of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Riester pointed out that the metro in Belgrade will improve the transportation of citizens and be a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
He pointed out that the joint projects, the largest of which are the upcoming construction of the subway, the concession of the Belgrade airport managed by the French Vance and the project of solving the landfill in Vinca, lead to even better confidence in good cooperation and future relations between the two countries.
Riester reminds that the French company Egis Group is working on a feasibility study for the construction of the subway, which will be completed next year.
"Today's agreement represents the firm intention of the two governments to involve our companies in this project of building a subway. France guarantees export credits for this endeavor," he said.
As he further stated, a smart energy network is being introduced which will significantly help EPS (the distribution company) to better manage consumption and reduce losses.
He thanked President Vučić for, as he said, the warm welcome in these difficult conditions because of the COVID related crisis.
He also expressed understanding and condolences for the loss that the Serbian people had with the death of SPC Patriarch Irinej, adding that France has been aware of the role of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Serbia since Saint Sava up to the present moment.
The French Minister pointed out that the signed agreement is an important step for further economic and political cooperation between the two countries, which have a common history, friendship and brotherhood since the First World War.
He reminded that last year, President Macron visited Serbia, which gave a new impetus to cooperation in all fields of cooperation, from the economy, education, to security...
"France supports Serbia on its European path," he said.
He added that more and more French citizens are coming to Serbia, as well as that French companies employ about 12.000 people in Serbia and that the number is growing. That is the real wind in the sails of cooperation between the two countries, said Riester, adding that he will meet today with the representatives of the business community in Serbia, firmly confident in the economic future of Serbia.
"Long live Serbia, long live France," Riester said.
Serbian Minister of Finance, Sinisa Mali, also stated that improving the energy efficiency of the distribution network is one of the main sources of economic growth.
He reminded that international financial institutions estimate that Serbia will have the best economic growth not only this year, but also next year and in 2022, respectively.