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ForMin Aurescu: It is important to stimulate commercial exchanges between Romania and Serbia

F. P.
Bogdan Aurescu

Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Monday said it was important for the commercial exchanges between Romania and Serbia to be stimulated, showing that he had agreed with his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic to organise in 2022 a new session of the joint economic committee, as well as a business forum.

"Among the priority cooperation areas that we have talked about today there was also the cooperation in the economy area, the Republic of Serbia is an important commercial partner of Romania in the region. Last year we registered commercial exchanges worth almost 2 billion euro, which this year, according to the available data, are increasing. It is very important to stimulate this effort even more, this process, and that is why we have agreed today to organise this year, as soon as possible, a new session of the joint economic committee between our countries, as well as a business forum to stimulate the connections between our business communities and the development of our economic cooperation in general," said Aurescu after the meeting with his Serbian counterpart.

The Serbian Minister added that export to Romania stands at almost one billion euros.

"This year we have a 7.5 percent increase. We have banned at some point the cereal export to Romania, however we are positive we shall increase this type of exchanges. There is room for enriching these relations," Nikola Selakovic said.

The discussions between the two officials were also aimed at the sectoral cooperation, a context in which Minister Aurescu hailed the signing by the relevant ministers of the agreement on establishing the motorway connection between Timisoara and Oravita and the high speed road between Belgrade and Vatin.

"Also in the transport area we have talked today about the importance of resuming the circulation of international trains between the two countries, I mean the passenger trains, for which a solution must be found at the shortest time," the Romanian foreign minister said.

The two ministers also talked about the cooperation in the energy area.

"I have underscored the need and importance Romania grants to creating he Arad-Mokrin gas interconnector, and the electricity interconnections between the two countries," Aurescu said.

The discussions also tackled the prospects of resuming the Interreg-IPA transborder cooperation programme between Romania and Serbia with the employment of the corresponding European funds worth approximately 88 million euro. The Romanian minister pointed out that this programme has been completed for the 2021-2027 scheduling period and will be launched in September if all requirements are met.

Minister Aurescu reiterated Romania's full support for Serbia's European course and the availability to grant technical or other kind of support, if needed.

"We have discussed the importance this European course of Serbia has, which, in Romania's point of view, must be completed as soon as possible with the accession as a full fledged member in the EU," he said.

The Serbian Minister thanked for Romania's support for his country's European course.

"I particularly want to voice my gratitude to Romania which has been supporting the territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia and the observance of the rights of the Serbians in Kosovo," Nikola Selakovic said.

Furthermore, the two officials discussed the effects of the war in Ukraine, aspects related to the stability of the Western Balkans as well as other topics. AGERPRES


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