BELGRADE, December 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Serbia has launched a mechanism for effective business cooperation with Russia, “what, undoubtedly, will help Serbia’s economic development,” Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic told reporters on Wednesday after a meeting with Russian entrepreneurs.
The meeting took place in Jagodina, 136 kilometers south of Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, where Russian company North Karton planned to build a cardboard plant.
“We are glad to the growing presence of Russian companies in Serbia,” Dacic said, reminding of the start of the South Stream gas pipeline’s construction on the territory of Serbia on November 24. This project will help engage “thousands of people and companies”, he said.
“Russia is one of our biggest trade partners,” Dacic said, adding that the Serbian government was developing a program to enhance domestic agriculture and boost exports. “The Russian market is vast and Serbia should study the issue of its agricultural exports in an orderly manner. Everything what the whole Serbia produces will be not enough even for Moscow alone. This means that more serious investments into agriculture should be made.”
The Serbian prime minister said his country’s current priorities “are higher economic development, the opening of new plants and employment promotion.”
Russia’s North Karton will invest €15 million to build a cardboard packaging plant in Jagodina’s industrial zone on the territory of 11 hectares. Serbia needs cardboard to pack its meat products, fruit and vegetables going for export. The plant’s designed monthly capacity is 18 million square meters of cardboard. Fifty percent of cardboard produced at the yet-to-be plant will be used in Serbia and another 50% will be exported. The plant will create around 200 new jobs.