Belarus hopes for a significant boost in cooperation with Serbia in the coming years, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic in Beijing on 26 April.
“Our economy is getting closer to politics [this pertains to the good bilateral political relations]. I am convinced that in 2-3 years we will be able to make significant progress in our cooperation and develop a good rapport in all areas of mutual interest,” the head of state said.
In particular, Aleksandr Lukashenko announced his visit to Serbia. Corresponding preparations are underway. “I think that during our meeting and my visit to Serbia we will have a serious conversation about our cooperation in the best interests of our people in Serbia and Belarus,” the Belarusian leader remarked.
“Although we are far from our countries, Serbia and Belarus, we found an opportunity to meet and share opinions on certain issues. We do not have any problems in politics. We have similar stances on the international agenda. As for the trade and economic component of our relations, there was a certain decline in bilateral trade last year and an increase in Q1 2019. However, this trade turnover is still rather small for friendly countries and countries with such potentials,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
According to the President, during the forthcoming visit to Serbia the sides will discuss investment prospects, opening and development of joint ventures. “This is an ongoing process. We are developing joint production in Serbia on the basis of MAZ and MTZ. There are good prospects in agriculture and joint production in other industries,” the Belarusian leader is convinced.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also spoke about cooperation in military technology. He stressed that there are no closed or forbidden topics in this field. “We are ready to cooperate with your close and friendly country to the extent that Serbia needs, we can provide assistance in the development of the Serbian military industry and deliver corresponding military equipment. We do not conceal it. There are no forbidden topics here.”
“So, we are ready to use every opportunity to give an additional boost to our cooperation. I want our next meeting to be a significant one, I hope that it will help advance our cooperation to a brand-new level. I am convinced that we will manage to do it,” the Belarusian leader concluded.
Aleksandar Vucic, in turn, agreed that the countries maintain very good political relations. In his words, it is essential to step up efforts to increase the bilateral trade and set up joint enterprises. “We are absolutely open here, and we are waiting for you in Belgrade,” he said.
“Everything you said about cooperation in military technology is very important for us. Thank you for what you have already done,” the Serbian President added.
He also emphasized that Serbia is always interested in cooperation with friendly Belarus and is ready to make practical steps in this direction.