The Business Forum Serbia-Estonia was held at the CCIS, at which possibilities of enhancing the operations and cooperation between the two countries in the sector of agricultural and food industry, information technologies and services were presented. As part of the forum, the Memorandum on Cooperation between the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and the Chamber of Commerce of Estonia was signed and bilateral meetings between representatives of around 30 Estonian and Serbian companies were held, as reported on the CCIS' website.
– Our merchandise trade, though small, has been constantly increasing in the past years, to which our governments, which cooperate intensively, have given a great contribution. The last business delegation came from Estonia to Serbia six years ago, and a Serbian delegation visited Estonia in 2015 – said Vaino Reinart, Deputy Foreign Minister of Estonia.
According to him, Serbia is the second most important partner to Estonia in the region, right after Slovenia.
– We need to increase the economic cooperation, so that our business people could use all the business opportunities available. We hope that Serbia will joint the EU soon, and our options for cooperation will thereby increase even further – Reinart said.
The director of the Sector for International Economic Relations of the CCIS, Jelena Jovanovic, agreed with the participants in the Forum that the economic cooperation between the two countries was lagging far behind the real possibilities and needs and pointed out that Estonia had opened its doors wide, especially to companies from Serbia active in the sectors of food, IT and paper and cardboard production.
The foreign trade of the two countries is truly small, and the possibilities for cooperation in various fields are big, Jovanovic emphasized.
Mihailo Vesovic, adviser to the president of the CCIS, Petar Rakocevic, honorary Consul of Estonia, and Mait Palts, director of the Chamber of Commerce of Estonia, who held a presentation about the Estonian market, also discussed the possibilities of a more intensive economic cooperation of Serbia and Estonia.
Jelena Jovanovic and Mait Palts signed the Memorandum on Cooperation between the two business associations, following which bilateral meetings of representatives of Estonian companies with business people from Serbia were held.
The data on the foreign trade differs, with Estonians estimating it at EUR 14 million, whereas the Serbian data put it at around EUR 11 million.
Although the statistics don't match, the positions of both governments are clear, which is that it is necessary to continue working on improving the economic relations of the two countries, especially in the sectors of IT, agriculture and service provision.
Serbia exports motor vehicles, metal processing machines, paper and cardboard to Estonia the most, while primarily importing canned fish and paint finishes.