| |     ћирилица | latinica  
Home
22 July 2021 President Vučić: We have decided – our goal is the EU, but China is an important partner

We have decided – our goal was and remains the EU, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said in an interview with the German daily "Handelsblatt", adding that there is no alternative for Serbia, but also stressing that China is an important partner for Serbia, and that the task of the state is to take care about the interests of its citizens.

He thus answered the question of what Serbia will choose once it has to choose between close relations with Beijing or the EU. Vučić emphasized that Serbia wants to become a full member of the EU.

"We are connected by history, common culture, EU members are already undoubtedly our most important partners", he explained and added that the trade exchange between Germany and China is 3,000 times higher than between Serbia and China, and, as he noted, even despite that, Serbia's business operations with China are portrayed as a problem.

To the statement that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not congratulate the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China, and that he did so, he replied that Serbia is not Germany, but a small country. On additional insistence on what Serbia will do if it has to choose between the EU and China, he underlined that Serbia has already decided, that its goal was and remains the EU membership.

"Our biggest investors are from the EU. The EU accounts for 67% of our trade while 17 percent of the trade is with countries of the region that are all on the way to the EU. We cannot survive without the EU", he added.

"But can we do a lot of good things with China – of course. And we do that, just like Germany does", Vučić pointed out, and to the remark that the quality of the Silk Road projects was being criticized, primarily because of Chinese workers, he answered that the quality of roads or bridges, which Serbia is building with China, is excellent.

"We give jobs to those who submit the best offer to us. That is why I tell Europeans who criticize Chinese projects in our country – offer us a project for one euro more and you will get it", he emphasized.

In that regard, he pointed out that Serbia is building a railway to Northern Macedonia with 600 million euros of EU aid, stating that that offer was better than China's.

"There is often talk of a 180-kilometer railway to Budapest through the territory of Serbia, which is financed by China. But the railway that is being built with the help of the EU from Belgrade to the northern Macedonian border is twice as long and no one is talking about it. It is all too political", he stated.

Asked whether he welcomes the plans of the EU and the USA regarding an alternative initiative to the Silk Road, Vučić said that he supports everything that brings advantages to our region.

"The Chinese want to expand their presence everywhere, but many processes in the West are, frankly, more efficient and without problems. We still have a lot to learn from the West, but we are getting there", Vučić said.

He pointed out that China was an important partner for Serbia and added that when the consolidation of state finances began in 2014, our country received good conditions from China for development projects.

He also stated that a competition for a copper mine was announced in eastern Serbia, at the request of the EU, that no European company had made an offer for six months, and that it had then been taken over by the Chinese.

"Our job is to take care of our people", he said.

He reminded that the Serbian economy grew by 52% in eight and a half years, which for the EU means that Serbia could be a strong member and engine for the entire region.

Explaining how Serbia is developing so well economically, he pointed out that Serbia has an excellent workforce, which speaks English, that society and administration are digitalized, and that it has the most flexible labor law in Europe, as well as consolidated public finances.

He reminded that previously the public debt was at 78% of GDP, and that today it has been reduced, thanks to the strong growth of the economy, to 52%.

"We can afford to give investors an incentive to come", he added, emphasizing that Serbia offers investment assistance, but that, for example, subsidies were not the motive for the arrival of the development center of the company Continental.

He pointed out that, five or six years ago, only Serbia started using the dual education system in this region, which Germany, Switzerland and Austria also use, that tens of thousands of people are in dual education, and that this is appreciated by foreign investors, who, in addition, can work closely with universities as well.

Germany, he stated, is the most important trade partner and the largest investor.

We started with the arrival of small textile companies from Turkey, and now primarily large German companies are coming. Today, 71,000 people work in German companies in Serbia", he explained.

Vučić said that the European perspective is very important for investors, stating that Nidek, Toyo Tires or Mitsubishi are coming from Japan to Serbia because our country is on a stable European path.

Asked if he believes that Serbia will become an EU member in the foreseeable future, he said that he does not complain.

"It is certain that if we had received 45 billion euros of EU aid, we would have been much further economically. Instead, we received 1.6 billion euros from the EU. We are used to achieving our successes on our own", said Vučić.

The President of Serbia reminded that in Croatia, salaries used to be 2.2 times higher than in Serbia, and today they are only 1.7 times higher.

"We are closing the gap with our own efforts. If we were to become a member of the EU, then we would certainly not ask for the biggest subsidies", he assures.

He said that the Serbian path follows the German path to Europe, and that Serbia wants a fair chance.

"I believe Merkel's words. She is at the end of her term and I would not have to praise her anymore. But she gave us stability, freedom of travel to the EU, helped us with the migrant crisis in 2015, and asked the Minister of Economy Altmeier and others to work closely with us", he reminded.

Asked if there were any indications that the new German government would support Serbia in the same way, Vučić expressed confidence that it would be the same.

"I know Armin Laschet, I talked to him while he was the Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia. He is very smart and understands the situation in the Balkans, and he will certainly continue Merkel's policy towards our region as the new chancellor", he added.

Vučić also expressed his belief that Russia, if Serbia's accession to the EU were concretized, would not react similarly as in the case of Ukraine, as this is a sovereign decision of Serbia.

To an additional question in this regard, Vučić pointed out that whenever he met with Vladimir Putin, and there were 18 or 19 meetings, he told him that he was grateful for the traditionally close friendship with Russia, but also that Serbia is on a clear course towards the EU.

"He asked if it was our choice and I answered that EU membership is indeed our goal", he added.

When it comes to "Kosovo", Vučić emphasized that a compromise is needed regarding this issue.

"Only in this way can there be sustainable peace. Serbia wants peace, me as well. Let's stop with the madness of the past. Only then can the whole region become the engine of new growth for Europe", said Vučić.

Source: Tanjug


Print version
News
2 December 2021 - Relations between Serbia and Romania are a true example of good-neighbourliness
18. Nov 2021 - Selaković spoke with Giaufret and EU ambassadors
12 November 2021 - Serbia expects support for opening clusters by end year
12 November 2021 - UNESCO’s role extremely important for preservation of Serbian heritage in Kosovo and Metohija
2nd November 2021 - Address of the President of the Republic of Serbia at the United Nations climate change conference COP26 held in Glasgow
25 October 2021 - Selaković: Serbia's help to friendly and fraternal Romania
22 October 2021 - Continuous communication with EU on further reforms
15th October 2021 - Selaković in UNSC: Dialogue and the implementation of the agreements reached are the only right way to resolve all open issues
President Vučić attended ceremony of the beginning of works on the modernization and rehabilitation of the Niš-Brestovac railway
26 September 2021 - Telephone conversation of President Vučić and General Secretary of NATO
25 September 2021 - Selaković in New York with 28 foreign ministers on economic successes of Serbia and K&M situation
25 September 2021 - Pristina seriously jeopardised regional stability
22 September 2021 - Prime Minister Brnabic at Global COVID-19 summit organised by White House
5 August 2021 - Marking the Remembrance Day of all Serbs who died and were expelled in the armed operation "Storm"
22 July 2021 President Vučić: We have decided – our goal is the EU, but China is an important partner
20 July 2021 Serbia has achieved great success in the field of digitalization
29th June 2021 President Vučić participates in the Mini Schengen conference
25. June 2021. Minister Selaković with future defense attachés of the Republic of Serbia
17 June 2021 - Selakovic: Cooperation and good-neighbourly relations are in the general interest of the entire region
17 June 2021 - Meetings in Antalya successful for Serbia
14 June 2021 Serbia committed to improving bilateral cooperation with Romania
09. June 2021. - Address by the President of the Republic of Serbia at the session of the United Nations Security Council
20 May 2021 - Minister Selaković presented the new e-Consulate service
8 May 2021 - Vucic: We consider Europe our home
8 May 2021 - Selakovic congratulates Josep Borrell on Europe Day
21st April 2021 President Vučić met via video link with representatives of the IMF delegation
20th April 2021 Meeting with the World Health Organization Regional Director for Europe
19 April 2021 WHO describes immunisation process in Serbia as impressive
13 April 2021 Selakovic: Pristina persists in its campaign of hatred against the Serbian people
13 April 2021 Selakovic: Political extremism of Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija is becoming stronger
24 March 2021 Marking the Day of Remembrance of the victims of the NATO aggression
Republic of Serbia in the Month of Francophonie / La République de Serbie au Mois de la Francophonie
Commemorating Remembrance Day of 17 March 2004 - Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija
Meeting with the Head of the Delegation of the European Union
8 March 2021 Selakovic: Fight against all forms of crime is a priority of the Serbian Government
18 February 2021 - Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana elected as the new Patriarch of Serbia
President Vučić receives credentials of the newly appointed ambassador of Romania
15.02.2021. - The Statehood Day of the Republic of Serbia
President Vucic: Serbia is ready for dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija, but will refuse being humiliated
Meeting with the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia
26 January 2021 Minister Selakovic speaks for Politika: The year of rejuvenation of Serbian diplomacy
President Vucic: Serbia is the first in Europe in terms of growth
3 January 2021 Every Serb in the diaspora is potentially a lobbyist
2 January 2021 Minister Selakovic: New ambassadors will be appointed this year, but the goals remain the same
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia wishes you a Happy New Year
29 December 2020 President Vucic: Serbia to remain on the course of a winning policy of stability
Serbian Prime Minister the first PM in Europe to receive a Covid-19 vaccine
18.12.2020. Minister Selakovic met with leadership of the Danube Commission in Budapest
Brnabic and Borrell: Political and economic aspects of negotiations
Minister Selakovic: Full EU membership remains a priority of the new Government
J. Joksimović and Roth on Serbia’s negotiations and new methodology
STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The 10th Conference of journalists and media of the diaspora and Serbs in the region
President meets the ambassadors of the EU member states accredited to Serbia and the head of the European Union Delegation
SERBIA - Emerging tech development hub
Free-of-charge a three-month course of Serbian Language
Visa applications – 23.05.2020.
Statement by H.E. Mr. Ivica Dačić
DIGITAL CONTENT IN THE FIELD OF CULTURE
IMPORTANT NOTICE!
COVID-19 - NEW MEASURES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA
NOTICE on the temporary closure of certain border crossings between the Republic of Serbia and Romania
Decision on visa exemption for entry into the Republic of Serbia for nationals of the Republic of Armenia, holders of ordinary passports
Agreement on Release of Visa Obligations between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Government of the Republic of Suriname
Republic of Serbia - Candidate for the UNESCO Executive Board 2019-2023
Protocol between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Government of the United Arab Emirates on the elimination of visas
Studying in Serbia
The second Western Digital Summit Western Balkans in Belgrade
A visit to the municipality of Svinjica, occasion of the Statehood Day of the Republic of Serbia
The reception on the occasion of the celebration of the Statehood Day of the Republic of Serbia
Tenth Conference of the Serbian Medical Diaspora, Belgrade 20-22 June 2019
Decision on the abolition of visas for entry into the Republic of Serbia for citizens of the Federation of St. Kitts and the Republic of Palau
Assembly of the Danube–Criș–Mureș–Tisa Euroregion, Timisoara, November 28, 2018
Visit of the Provincial Government representative to the Serbian Gymnasium in Timisoara
Conference about the project of the Revitalization of the Navigational Infrastructure of the Begej Canal, funded through the Romania-Serbia Interreg – IPA program
Day of the Serbian language in Romania
Concert of the Art Ensemble of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Serbia "Stanislav Binicki"
Cross-border cooperation program Romania-Serbia, project "HerA", Timisoara, November 13
Laying of Wreath at the memorial-ossuary of Serbian internees in Arad
Minister of Culture visits the Association of Serbs in Romania
1. Scientific Symposium ,,100 Years of Great Events for Serbs in Romania"
Opening of the day of Serbian culture inthe Timisoara
Visa exemption for the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Commonwealth of Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago
7th International Sports Fair, November 23-25, 2018
Bilateral talks between foreign ministers of Serbian an Romanian I. Dacic and T. Meleskanu
Minister I. Dacic met representatives of the Association of Serbs in Romania
Minister I. Dacic visited the Episcopal Palace Timisoara
Decision on termination of the validity of the Decision on the abolition of visas for entry into R. Serbia for citizens of IR Iran, holders of ordinary passports
CALL FOR FREE-OF-CHARGE THREE-MONTH SKYPE COURSE OF SERBIAN LANGUAGE AS PER THE PROJECT„ONLINE LEARNING OF SERBIAN AS NATIVE TONGUE“
"Days of Transfiguration of Serbs in Romania", an international literary event organized for the 25th time
Visa exemption for the citizens of Republic of Azarbaijan
Visa exemption for the citizens of Republic of Burundi
Decision of the Government of St.Vincent and the Grenadine on the abolition of visas for citizens of the Republic of Serbia, holders of all passports
Abolition of visas for citizens of the Republic of Serbia, holders of all passports
Abolition of visas for citizens of the Republic of Serbia, holdeer
Visa exemption for the citizens of Georgia
Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Government of the Republic of Guatemala on the exemption of Visas for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports
Visa exemption for the citizens of Republic of Suriname
Visa exemption for the citizens of Republic of Guinea Bissau
The Decision of the Islamic Republic of Iran on visa exemption for the nationals of the Republic of Serbia, holders of ordinary passports
Visa exemption for the citizens of Indonesia
Information about 8th Conference Serbian Medical Diaspora
The abolition of visas for citizens of the Republic of Peru, holders of ordinary passports
International public competition for the design of a conceptual solution for the Zoran Đinđić Memorial
Celebration the National Day of the Republic of Serbia
Invitation to tender for the provision of real estate sales services – the sales of diplomatic real estate in New York (USA), Tokyo (Japan), Bonn (Germany), and Berne (Switzerland)
Promotion of Kikinda events in Timisoara
Laying wreaths to commemorate the Day of heroes in Timisoara
Fair exhibition in Timis Chamber of Commerce with the participation of Serbian businessmen
Celebrating Independence Day of Romania, Victory Day and the Allied Powers Europe Day in Timisoara
Europe Day celebrations at events in Timisoara
Minifestifal film "Cine cultura" in Timisoara
A book of condolences at the Consulate General on the occasion of the death the officials Serbian Embassy in Tripoli
Awards ceremony, Dr Slavomir Gvozdenovic
Non-Paper
From August 6th,2015 do not require visas for citizens of Moldova
Serbia National Day
Public holiday in Romania
Government declares three days of mourning for flood victims.A book of condolence will remain open at the Consulate General
Easter holydays
THE MARCH POGROM, 17-18 March 2004
National day of the Republic of Serbia, 15 February 2014.
Information on the elections in Serbia
Traffic Report and Traffic Closures
November 11th, Armistice Day
Learning Serbian language online
The Timis County seat Prefect Mr.Eugen Dogariu, received chiefs of North and Mid Banat Administrative Districts
Serbian company "Toza Markovic" from Kikinda received a special award "for Exquisiteness"
News - Archive