Serbia, Shandong ties strengthened: Ambassador

(| Updated : 2020-07-29

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"Serbia and China enjoy long-standing and friendly bilateral relations. As the ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to China for six years, I am very pleased that relations between Serbia and China are at their best since the two countries established diplomatic relations," said Milan Bacevic, Serbian ambassador to China in a signed article.


Milan Bacevic, Serbian ambassador to China [Photo provided to]

Since the two countries promoted bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership level in 2016, the two sides have made significant progress in many areas, especially in the fields of economy, investment, infrastructure construction, and social and cultural exchange, Bacevic said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has solidified their iron-clad friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership, and the two have become a shining example of solidarity in the fight against the virus, he said.

At the beginning of the epidemic in China, Serbia offered its firm support. At the height of the outbreak in February, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic led a delegation to visit China, becoming the first foreign minister received by China after the outbreak, the ambassador said.

"When the epidemic hit Serbia, China offered us help, providing Serbia with medical supplies such as respirators, masks and protective clothing and dispatching medical teams to assist us."

He added that in addition to the central government, many provinces, companies and ordinary people in China also offered help.

"I would like to express my deep gratitude to Shandong province and Shandong companies that do business in Serbia, especially Shandong Hi-speed Group and Linglong Tire, for helping us when we were most in need."

He said that many companies based in Shandong province are participating in Serbia's work to upgrade its infrastructure. In particular, Shandong Hi-speed Group, in addition to the E763 expressway, has several major projects in Serbia, including the construction of a Chinese cultural center in Belgrade, which is of great significance to Serbia.

"As the Serbian ambassador, I have visited Shandong province many times and have had many encouraging meetings with political and business leaders from the province. Although significant progress has been made in improving relations between Serbia and Shandong, we still have a ways to go in many areas," Bacevic said.

He added that innovation is a major driver of modern economic growth, and hopes to work closely with China and Shandong province in the fields of science, research and innovation.

As the first European country to offer visa-free entry to Chinese nationals, Serbia hopes to resume tourism as soon as conditions permit.

"We are sure that visitors from Shandong will contribute to a better understanding of our country and our customs and further improve relations between our two peoples."