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Belgrade said the United Arab Emirates has agreed a series of deals worth several hundred million euro to help revive Serbia’s tattered economy.
Deputy prime minister Aleksandar Vucic said that his second official visit to the energy-rich Arab state had yielded several major agreements for investment in Serbia.
“In four years’ time, the investment will come to 220 million dollars,” Vucic said on Sunday after signing three deals with Emirates foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed.
Vucic said that an Emirates company, Mubadala, could also put “about four billion dollars into Serbia in the future”, including investments in the missile industry, agro-business and the building of a modern hotel on the site of former military headquarters in Belgrade that were bombed by NATO in 1999.
“This is a great day for relations between our two states, and what is even more important than this ceremony is that in the next several months, citizens of the UAE and Serbia will see how serious our governments are in establishing these ties between our two countries, of which we can be proud,” bin Zayed said.
Vucic pledged that all the agreements inked with the UAE would be made public, noting that they would mean a lot for recession-hit Serbia.
He also announced that there would be investments in Serbian military factories Krusik, Teloptik and Utva, adding that he intended to hold another round of talks with the UAE on potential investment in the construction of rocket launchers.
Vucic added that the money that the UAE intended to put into a micro-chip factory represented “the biggest investment in Serbia since 1980”.
At the end of his two-day visit to the UAE, Vucic attended the opening of the huge IDEX military trade exhibition in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
IDEX attracted 60,000 military representatives and 77 defence ministers from across the world, with 1,112 companies from 59 countries presenting their products, including Serbian company Jugoimport SDPR.
To keep its reform policy credible for investors, the government must find common ground with the IMF and look for a new arrangement, experts say.