Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic is on a two-day visit to Azerbaijan, which he started in a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilhan Aliyev. On that occasion, both sides have expressed desire for the improved bilateral relations and agreed on the concrete economic cooperation. The report of Biljana Blanusa.
Serbia and Azerbaijan have been working for years on strengthening their political relations, and there is also potential for the enhanced economic cooperation, Vucic said. According to him, the cooperation is possible in the fields of infrastructure, defense industry, energy and agriculture. The Prime Minister has expressed pleasure over the hitherto experience that Serbia has had with the companies from Azerbaijan, particularly stressing the cooperation with Azvirt, the company working on the construction of certain sections of the corridor 11. Also discussed were the possibilities in the sector of gas industry and Serbia’s connection to the gas lines that are supplying the European countries from the sources in Shah Deniz. Vucic has noted that for Serbia it would mean the diversification of the sources, thus ensuring the stability of supply. Azerbaijani companies are interested in privatizing the PKB agrarian industry and other investments in this domain, as along with the companies from the Saudi Arabia and UAE they would invest several hundred million euros. When it comes to the cooperation in tourism, aimed at increasing the number of tourists from Azerbaijan, the plan is to establish the air line Belgrade-Baku by the end of this year. Serbia should soon receive the official delegation of Azerbaijan, with a large number of business people. It is expected to lead to a significant increase of trade between the two countries, as currently it is not on an adequate level. Vucic has thanked the Azerbaijani President for the support of his country to the territorial integrity of Serbia.
President Ilham Aliyev has emphasized that Azerbaijan’s supportto Serbia is beyond doubt and added he hopes that the visit of the Serbian delegation will help the strengthening of the economic cooperation. He has pointed that the companies from Azerbaijan that work in Serbia are very satisfied with the business conditions and support from the state bodies. Aliyev has noted that besides the works on infrastructure projects, their companies are also interested in the privatization of the Serbian enterprises.
During the visit to Azerbaijan, Prime Minister Vucic has also met his colleague Arthur Rasizade, to talks about specific economic cooperation. Rasizade has especially stressed the good cooperation in humanitarian actions, adding that the economic cooperation is insufficiently developed. He has invited Serbian minister of energy Aleksandar Antic to become a member of the counseling chamber of the “South gas corridor”, which is the project of a gas line meant to supply the Azerbaijani gas to the western Europe.
The Serbian delegation has met with representatives of the Azmeco Company, the leading methanol producer in that country. This firm makes 600 thousand tons of methanol annually, further distributed to Europe and China by the British Petroleum. Azmeco is interested in investing into segments of the chemical complex in Serbia, especially the Petrohemija compound in Pancevo and MSK in Kikinda. In the upcoming period their delegation may visit Serbia to discuss the modes of cooperation.
As part of the visit, Prime Minister Vucic has laid wreaths on the monument to the national leader Gaydar Aliyev and the memorial complex “Eternal flame” in the Alley of the Greats. Also envisaged are the meetings with the parliament speaker Oktay Asadov and Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev, who is also the president of the Inter-State Committee for trade and economic cooperation, as well as the representatives of the state oil company SOKAR.
April 14, 2015