Reuters, November 14, 2007
Serbia invites China tech, car firms to build plants
BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia urged China's electronics and car industries on Tuesday to invest in the country to cut a $1.0 billion trade gap.
"I have invited strong Chinese companies from the electronics industry and information technologies to invest in Serbia, build new plants to produce computers and TV boxes," said Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic, who is on a two-day visit to China.
"We can also cooperate in the car industry and instead of importing goods from China have them produced in Serbia.
"The main message today to the Chinese side was that we urgently need to cut the trade deficit Serbia has with China. The only way to do that is to substitute part of the Chinese imports," Dinkic said in a statement.
Serbia exported $3.6 million worth of goods to China in January-September this year. Imports from China -- mainly air conditioners, phones, electronic components, coke ore, herbicides, peanuts and crockery -- stood at $927.6 million.
Together with Russia, China was considered to be the closest ally of Serbian authorities in the 1990s during the rule of Slobodan Milosevic, when the country faced international isolation over Belgrade's role in a series of Balkan wars.
Belgrade hopes the two powers will help it stave off the independence demands of the Albanian majority in its breakaway Kosovo province.