First session of UAE and Serbia joint committee held in Belgrade
A number of agreements were made during the meeting to bolster links between the countries
The first ministerial meeting of a UAE and Serbia joint committee set up to strengthen ties between the two nations has been held in Belgrade.
The gathering was led by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, and Siniša Mali, Serbia's Minister of Finance.
The UAE delegation in the Serbian capital included a host of federal and local government representatives, as well as private sector companies.
Dr Al Jaber started the meeting by stating the UAE's desire to develop its relationship with Serbia and build partnerships in a range of areas, especially in the energy sector.
The minister said the UAE is eager to explore investment opportunities in export sectors such as mining and information technology.
Projects already in place between the countries were discussed, including the Al Dahra Company's investment in the agriculture and food sector in Serbia and Masdar's involvement in the Tesla Wind Power Generation Project.
The ministers also highlighted the role of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation in offering development aid to leading projects in Serbia.
Serbian minister Mr Mali said the Serbian government is intent on consolidating bilateral relations with the UAE and looked forward to working more closely in areas relating to the economy, trade, investment and culture.
Both ministers signed several Memorandums of Understanding, including one agreement to encourage investment and create work opportunities.
Dr Al Jaber also met with Rasim Ljajić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of Serbia, to discuss ways to take advantage of opportunities offered by the growth of the UAE economy.
Diplomatic relations between the UAE and Serbia officially commenced back in 2007, with the UAE establishing its diplomatic mission in Belgrade five years ago.
Bilateral trade between the countries rose by 39 per cent from 2014 to 2017, from $31.2 million to $83.2 million.
Emirati investments in Serbia amounted to about $4 billion, through direct investments and strategic partnerships in several sectors.
Updated: April 9, 2019 10:31 PM