Offer to Serbian business
Serbian business center moved to Kopaonik health resort for several days. During the economic forum the representatives of state and business circles shared their opinions on effective measures in the crisis situation. Business background of the working visit of Alexander Lukashenko to Serbia has naturally affected the program of his stay in the country. The Presidential Press Service reported that Alexander Lukashenko met Serbian administration and big business representatives.
“I visited Serbia during the war and now I want to see how people live here and how the country develops,” Alexander Lukashenko specified the purpose of his visit. “I want to compare those times with the present, to draw conclusions in order to understand the level of mutual relations of Belarus and Serbia.”
The first step in business interaction development will become a free trade agreement planned for conclusion by the two countries in the near future. According to the President, the document will allow trading with serious tax remissions in certain goods. Serbian and Belarusian businessmen were offered to establish a business cooperation council. “I have been thinking about it for a long time and I know that businessmen of the former Yugoslavia are keen to enter the eastern market — Belarus, Russia and other former Soviet republics,” the President explained his initiative. “I want to offer to certain entrepreneurs to establish a business cooperation council consisting of leading Serbian businessmen, who want and can work in Belarus, and Belarusian ones, who want to work in Ukraine, Russia and other eastern markets.”
Alexander Lukashenko is sure that there are such businessmen in Serbia. They can visit Minsk with certain projects and offers. “We will discuss them in order to avoid bureaucratic delays and we will realize these ideas for business development on the eastern market,” the President promised his support to constructive initiatives. He specified that the idea of the council establishment was discussed with the representatives of Serbia and the government. Alike structure can be created with Armenian businessmen.
Serbian journalists were interested in Belarusian experience in reduction of unemployment. “Everybody, including the mayor and the President, has to work at the creation of working places and economic rehabilitation,” Alexander Lukashenko answered. “We shouldn’t hope for clever businessmen to redevelop economy and create new working places. We should work at it ourselves.” The President specified that it was difficult to do it earlier “because of the independent policy pursued by Belarus and the policy pursued by the Europeans towards us. The Americans still adhere to this policy.” One of the main reasons for the biased attitude is the principled position of Belarus towards bombing of Belgrade, Serbia and Kosovo.
The President is sure that Belarus can render assistance to Serbia in solution of several problems. For example, in the sphere of modernization of electrical energy industry and machine building. Besides, this offer is concordant with some ideas expressed during the economic forum in Kopaonik. Dragan Djuričin, the Chairman of the Union of Serbian Economists, talked about the investments into power economy as one of the factors helping to overcome the negative influence of the crisis. Alexander Lukashenko mentioned that Belarus has great experience in the working capacity modernization and restoration in the sphere of electrical energy industry and machine building. “If we are able to help Serbia, we will do it. Visit us and say how we can assist you,” Alexander Lukashenko offered.
The journalists were also interested in the world crisis influence on Belarus. “I hope that things will remain on the present level,” the President said and reminded that he applied to the international financial institutions with a request to give a credit for the national currency support. The first part of the IMF credit has been already received. “We hold negotiations with the IMF and the World Bank. There is a perspective of obtaining corresponding credits,” said Alexander Lukashenko. Everything is done for the formation of the so-called “airbag.”