Belarus and Serbia are going to build and maintain bilateral relations. On January 27, this was discussed during a meeting of the Belarusian head of state and Prime Minister of Serbia.
Back in 2009 the two countries signed a free trade agreement. Over the 7 years the turnover has grown almost 5 times. In 2015, it amounted to more than 250 million dollars. However, in 2016 the volume of trade fell, and this situation must be rectified.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We need to build relationships, maintain them. Although in recent years our turnover has fallen slightly, and remember that this is the basis and foundation of any relationship. I think that after your visit to Belarus, Mr. Prime Minister, we will still find those weak points that need to be addressed, and the paths that will lead us to the recovery (at least restoration) of our trade. And it was very high!
Still, we once had a turnover of $250 million - it is very well for our republics.
We are ready to do for you all that we can do. We don't have any prohibited topics. Even in the most difficult times, we have supported and will support you, so you can rely on Belarus.
We will always do everything we can for our Serbia.
Aleksandar Vučić, chairman of the Government of the Republic of Serbia:
Of course, we have to do everything to increase our cooperation on political and economic issues. Our relationship has always been very good, but as you have said, it is necessary to increase the turnover. Belarus is a friendly country, not only of the Republic of Serbia, but the Serbian people.
Serbia is Belarus' key partner in the Balkans. The dialogue between the two countries is at a high political level. The Belarus head of state visited the Balkan country four times. Even when in 1999, when NATO planes stormed the sky of Serbia, Alexander Lukashenko flew to Belgrade to express support for the residents of the republic.
Tomislav Nikolic was the first of the leaders of all countries who visited Belarus after the latest presidential elections in Belarus.
Belarus and Serbia have repeatedly stressed that their next goal in turnover is $500 million. The dialogue is active in mechanical engineering, agriculture, and construction. There are a lot of investment projects going on.
Minsk World today is among Belarus' top three ambitious construction projects (the project is going to be finished by 2027).
On January 27, in Minsk, one of the largest shopping complexes was opened. This is part of the Serbian investment project Mayak Minska.
The new shopping center will present both Belarusian and world brands. Some will come to Belarus for the first time. In addition, the complex will create new jobs. According to forecasts, by the end of the year the shopping center will employ 5,000 people.
The chairman of the Serbian government has visited the Minsk temple in honor of All Saints, a unique monument of architecture and at the same time one of the centers of Orthodoxy. The Serbian friends received a gift - an icon which will decorate St. Sava temple in Belgrade.