Joint session of Serbian and Slovenian cabinets

Serbia and Slovenia have excellent political and economic relations that can be described as best ever, PMs Aleksandar Vucic and Miro Cerar have said.

Source: Tanjug
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They addressed reporters after a joint session of the two countries' governments in Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia.

Vucic and Cerar pointed to the significance of Serbia's European path.

Vucic thanked his host for the support that Slovenia is extending to Serbia, and Cerar once again stressed that Slovenia will continue to support Serbia's efforts to join the EU.

The two officials said that they will jointly define the procedures to facilitate market entry for Serbian companies, and that the few open issues, such as succession will be addressed "in line with the very good relations between the two countries."

Cerar strongly commended the efforts of the Serbian prime minister to implement the much needed reforms in the country.

For Serbia, Slovenia is a “window” to the European Union, just as for Slovenia, Serbia is a “window” to other markets, countries and parts of the world, said Cerar, noting that the two countries came to each others' aid during the natural disasters last year.

Vucic said that Serbia "sees a true friend in Slovenia, a very important country in this part of Europe and one of its main trading partners."

Vucic congratulated Cerar on the reforms he has implemented and continues to implement, noting that Slovenia's economy is projected to grow by 2.5 percent this year, the growth he hopes Serbia will achieve in 2017.

"Serbia is trying to do what Slovenia has done before in terms of fiscal responsibility and discipline. There is much we can learn from the government of Slovenia,” said Vucic.

The restructuring of 512 Serbian enterprises is currently in progress, and Slovenian companies have shown interest in 14 of them, said Vucic, adding that he expects this number to increase once the tender procedures are conducted.

The Serbian prime minister said that he expects more Serbian companies to invest in Slovenia, pointing to the acquisition of Slovenian soft drinks maker Fructal by the Serbian-based Nektar.

Vucic and Cerar also discussed cooperation in the defense industry, construction sector, Belgrade-Budapest railway and the Belgrade Waterfront project.

In all these projects, Serbia needs assistance and support from the Slovenian companies, he said.

Speaking about the economic cooperation, Vucic said that Slovenian companies can use the advantages that Serbia enjoys, such as the free trade agreements providing access to a market of more than one billion people.

On the other hand, Serbia expects assistance from the technologically more advanced Slovenian companies, and their participation in the projects of Belgrade Waterfront and Belgrade-Budapest railway, he added.

Serbian companies are interested in doing business in Slovenia, primarily in food processing but in other sectors as well, said Vucic.

In reply to reporters' questions, Vucic said that there are no specific obstacles to Serbian investments in Slovenia, and that he expects Serbian companies to increase their presence in Slovenia and other markets as they continue to grow.

Cerar specified that 1,300 Slovenian companies, employing some 35,000 people, are currently operating in Serbia, and stressed that Slovenia is open to Serbian companies and that, as an EU member, it is working on eliminating any obstacles that may affect business.

Succession

Serbian and Slovenian Ministers of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic and Karl Erjavec conferred on a series of open bilateral issues relating to the succession in the territory of former Yugoslavia on Friday.

Dacic and Erjavec expressed firm readiness to advance towards solutions particularly in relation to cultural heritage, archives and legal entities, the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released in a statement as reported by the STA agency.

The talks also touched on international issues such as Serbia's OSCE chairmanship, the situation in the western Balkans and Serbia's EU accession.

Erjavec said that Slovenia stands ready to continue to support Serbia on its pathway and offer help in the implementation of reforms and alignment of its legislation with the one of the EU.

Jadranka Joksimovic, Serbian minister without portfolio in charge of the EU integration, met meanwhile with State Secretary Dragoljuba Bencina, who also expressed support to Serbia's EU aspirations.

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