Riding a wave of the Belt and Road Initiative and fast-developing China-Serbia partnership, dozens of Chinese companies are eyeing the Serbian market.[Special coverage]
More than 40 Chinese companies are showcasing their products at an agriculture exhibition in the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad, which was officially opened on Tuesday.
The exhibition, Premium Agricultural Brands of China in Serbia 2017, is part of the International Agriculture Fair.
Speaking of the just-concluded Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, Chen Zhou, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, promised to create more platforms to promote bilateral cooperation and to create conditions for trade and investment, information exchange as well as more legal services in trade.
"This will create new opportunities for cooperation between Chinese and Serbian companies and contribute to the development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries," he told the opening ceremony.
Tian Yishu, charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Serbia, said China is a large agricultural manufacturer and a big consumer of agricultural and food products, while Serbia is rich in natural resources and its agricultural products and meat are of very high quality.
Zeljko Radosevic, state secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Serbia, said China has granted Serbia certificate to export lamb, adding that conditions are being created for Serbia to get certificate from China to export beef and pork, dairy products as well as food products of plant origin.
Radosevic said agriculture ministers of the two countries signed a memorandum on joint trade and investment in agriculture at the Belt and Road forum in Beijing, which "provided a basis for an increased exchange of agricultural and food products and organic products and created conditions for direct investment of China in Serbian agriculture and food industry."
"An important goal for us is to attract Chinese investment in food processing industry and to implement modern technologies and know-how, especially in new products and production lines in the areas of fruit and vegetable processing," he said.
Companies from China and Serbia should use the opportunity to achieve new breakthroughs in agriculture either by starting joint production or exporting agricultural products to third markets, suggested Tian from the Chinese Embassy.
He said that within the framework of their comprehensive strategic partnership, the two countries have achieved fruitful results in the areas of infrastructure, construction, energy, telecommunications, education and culture.
The Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 with an aim to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.