Chinese official on investments in Serbia, Jeremic's bid

"China and Serbia are developing countries, I think we have great potential for future cooperation," Chinese official Li Wei has told B92.

Source: B92

Asked what areas are of interest to Chinese investors and whether Serbia can soon expect more of them, the president (minister) of the Development Research Center of China's State Council (DRC) replied:

"Our economies are complementary. According to the latest estimates, China's investments in Serbia have very much increased in the last few months, I think we will in the future develop a promising cooperation and investments in the steel industry, industrial park development, railway and manufacturing industries."

According to him, Serbia has its advantages in some industries, such as the service industry.

"In order to reinforce that kind of investment I believe we must do a lot on the closer cooperation of citizens and communication between our two countries, to strengthen cooperation between companies, to work on the mutual understanding of people of both countries, that is also very important," said Li.

The Chinese official remarked that Chinese companies such as Huawei are doing well in Serbia.

"I think it's very important for Chinese companies to take this cooperation as an example to better understand how to better operate in Serbian and European markets," he added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to visit Serbia next month in a first official visit by a Chinese leader in the last 32 years.

Li spoke for B92 about the importance of the visit for Serbia, and for relations between Belgrade and Beijing:

"I recently learned that that Xi Jinping will visit Serbia. China and Serbia have a long history of good relations and friendship. Especially since 2009, the two countries have had close cooperation and communication in terms of politics, economy and culture. Since then the two countries have exchanged visits at a high level and I believe that the visit of the president of China to Serbia will promote and open the door to further cooperation in various fields in the future. According to the DRC research, and within the framework of the 'One Belt, One Road," initiative, both countries can do much in mutual cooperation."

The Chinese official, who is visiting Belgrade, also met with Serbia's former foreign minister and the country's candidate for the post of UN secretary-general, Vuk Jeremic. Li said that his role as the head of the DRC gives him "very limited space for politics and diplomacy," and offered his personal opinion on Jeremic's bid, noting he was speaking as his friend and a member of the board of advisors of Jeremic's CIRSD think-tank:

"I am a member of the board due to the friendly stance of Mr. Jeremic toward China and the trust he has in me. Personally, I hope 100 percent that he will succeed in his campaign."


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