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Azerbaijan and Serbia want to boost bilateral ties and cooperation further, have said officials. The two friendly countries have significantly improved their cooperation over the past years and officials have said to be keen to build on such progress to the benefit of both people.

Strategic ties between the two countries were discussed during AleksandarVucic, Serbian prime minister’s visit to Azerbaijan.

Serbia has always backed Azerbaijan`s stance, said Vucic, as he met Ogtay Asadov, the Azerbaijani parliament speaker during his Baku visit.

Vucic praised the Serbian-Azerbaijani ties, saying he believes his visit will contribute to “further strengthening of our relations”.

Asadov, for his part, said Azerbaijan and Serbia have long been strategic partners and friendly countries. He expressed confidence Vucic’s visit would open a new chapter in the development of the relations between the two countries.

“We are interested in developing ties with Serbia in both the cultural and humanitarian fields. Both countries are working together on this issue,” Asadov said, hailing inter-parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.

Serbian Premier put the special emphasis on strengthening economic ties between the two countries.

Vucic voiced Serbia’s readiness to provide Azerbaijani companies with tax breaks should they want to invest in the chemical complex and agriculture of the country.

He added that during the Azerbaijani-Serbian business forum in Baku on April 14 it was mentioned that state enterprises in the agriculture and chemical industry sectors are in the process of being privatized in Serbia.

“There are 7,500 hectares of fertile land in the agricultural sector. There are also several chemical enterprises, in particular, polypropylene production facilities. I think that Azerbaijani companies will show an interest in our proposal,” Vucic said.

He noted that Serbia is ready to provide investors willing to participate in these projects with certain privileges.

“In particular, we are ready to provide these investors with tax breaks and simplified tax regime, state funds and other benefits,” Vucic said.

Furthermore, the Serbian premier expressed hope for the opening of a direct flight between Baku and Belgrade by late 2015.

He said there are great opportunities for development in the sector of tourism between the two countries, noting that the opening of a direct flight will provide an opportunity to increase business opportunities.

“We hope that a direct flight between Baku and Belgrade will be opened by late 2015,”Vucic said.

The Serbian Premier also invited Azerbaijani companies to build a ring road around Belgrade, saying that AzVirt (Azerbaijani company) continues to build the main road with a length of 44 kilometers in Serbia.

“We are very pleased with the work progress. More than half of the road project has already been completed. The road is being built to very high standards and we are confident that its construction will be completed on time,” Vucic said.

He went on to add that Serbia is preparing to launch the construction of the ring road project that will run around Belgrade. This ring road will include highways and railways. The cost of the project stands at about 470 million euros.

“In addition, we are going to build an eight-kilometer section of highway near the border with Macedonia. I would like to invite Azerbaijani companies to participate in these projects,” Vucic added.

Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Serbia were established in August 1997.

The trade turnover between the two countries was $3,836 million in 2014, according to the Azerbaijan State Statistics Committee.

Serbia exports agricultural products, equipment and pumps for the oil and gas industry, as well as furniture and building materials to Azerbaijan.

http://www.azernews.az/business/80471.html

April 15, 2015