Source: RTS | Monday, 23.01.2017.| 15:52
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Serbia planning growth of export to Far East – Which Serbian goods are welcome in China?

Serbia is one of China's 16 partners within that country's model of cooperation with Central and East European states. The export of these countries to the second economy in the world is constantly growing. The Serbian export is modest, at least compared to those countries which are even recording a surplus in the trade with China. An agreement was signed recently which envisions the export of lamb and beef.

The new, 12,000 km long, silk road has brought a train full of goods from China to Great Britain. Spain used the line to export wine, olives and ham to the most populous country in the world. Serbia might be far from this, but China is nevertheless interested.

– We intend to import milk products, wine, lamb and beef – says Li Manchang, Ambassador of China to Serbia.

In five years of cooperation, the export from 16 CEE countries to China has grown by 173%. Serbia, with its USD 20 million worth of export, is lagging behind Bulgaria, which exports more than USD 600 million, or Slovakia, whose export amount to a billion dollars.

Journalist Borislav Korkodelovic, a Far East expert, says that Slovakia, which is the only country to have a surplus in its trade with China, has profited the most.

– Serbia's mistake is, above all, in not having enough products it can offer, unfortunately. This is something that should be made clear to private businessmen and small and medium enterprises – Korkodelovic says.

The recently signed agreement on the export of meat might act as an incentive.

– I've agreed with the Chinese minister of agriculture to increase the export of agricultural products from Serbia to China in the future. Following the Chinese New Year, he promised that he would send three or four expert groups as a delegation to Serbia – said Ambassador Manchang.

An additional opportunity lies in the fact that the second economy in the world has become, due to the population growth, but also the growth of the economy, the leading food market.

– They keep growing richer as a society, their middle class numbers in hundreds of millions, they love to buy foreign goods and Hungarian beef reaches frighteningly high prices there. Ours might too – Korkodelovic says.

Within the “16 plus one” model, more than 80% of export is covered by the five most successful European countries. Serbia might set for itself the goal of becoming one of them.
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