Ðelić: Serbia heading towards Europe. By the end of November 2007, Serbia had achieved a $1.236 billion trade surplus in trading with CEFTA countries.
Božidar Ðelić says that he believes Serbia will sign the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) on January 28. The deputy prime minister said that he hoped Serbia would receive European Union candidate status by the end of the year. “With this there will be no turning back in the European integration process, and no-one will question the desire of 70% of Serbia’s citizens to seek EU membership,” Ðelić said. “Serbia has a future, and the citizens will show this on January 20. They will choose stability, not conflict. Cooperation not arguments. They will choose intelligence, dignity and a better future. Serbia’s citizens are Serbia’s future. They are our greatest treasure,” he said. Ðelić said that he expected €3-4 billion worth of investments in 2008. “The condition for this is that we sign the SAA and give a clear signal that Serbia is a country that should be invested in, and that offers a stable legal and systematic basis for business,” he said.
The deputy prime minister said that citizens’ standard of living would improve greatly in 2008. The average monthly wage in Serbia is €350, while it is €220 in Bulgaria, an EU member-state. Ðelić said that 2008 would be a historic year because the fight for Serbia’s territorial integrity would unfold. He said that Serbia would invest all its energies in taking big steps towards the European family, as well.
Serbia’s share of the CEFTA market was 21.3%, said the director of the PKS’ department for regional cooperation Milivoj Miletić. According to his information, at the end of November, Serbia had a deficit with only two countries – Croatia and Moldova. “The surplus Serbia has been able to generate on the CEFTA market is very significant given the high trade deficit it has with the rest of the world,” said Miletić. In 2007, Serbia’s overall deficit was $8.45 billion.
PKS data indicates that CEFTA countries’ participation in Serbian import amounted to 8.1%, and 31.4% in export. The CEFTA agreement came fully into force on November 22 last year, when it came into effect in the last signatory state, Bosnia-Hercegovina. CEFTA regulates trade in services, public purchasing and protection of intellectual property, which had not been covered by the previous agreement. (B92.net)
Source: Beta - was given the figures by the Chamber of Commerce (PKS).