Source: eKapija | Sunday, 27.10.2019.| 14:54
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Market of 185 people opens for Serbian products – Free Trade Agreement signed with EAEU

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Serbia has signed a Free Trade Agreement with Eurasian Union, extending the list of Serbian products that can be exported to the EAEU territory without customs duty and increased quotas for exports of goods subject to restrictions.

The agreement will replace the existing bilateral agreements with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and extend the free trade zone to Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, covering a market of about 185 million people, the government says on its website.

The Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, at a session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, stressed that the document was of great importance for Serbia and its economy, its more dynamic growth, competitiveness of companies and a better standard of citizens.

Brnabic reminded that Serbia had had bilateral agreements with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan until then, and that it was now extending to Armenia and Kyrgyzstan with a unified agreement with the Union.

– I want to express gratitude to everyone for being open partners. We have managed to work out a further liberalization in the agreements with three countries – the prime minister said.

According to Brnabic, it was further agreed that 2,000 tons of cigarettes, approximately 90,000 liters of cognac brandy, 400 tons of semi-hard and hard cow's cheese, unlimited quantities of goat's and sheep's cheese and unlimited quantities of fruit brandy could be exported to the Union countries.

The Prime Minister reminded that Serbia had became a member of the Eurasian Infrastructure Investment Bank and that it had had a meeting with the Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation a day before.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that EAEU member states – Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan – had a total GDP of close to two trillion dollars.

Belarusian Prime Minister Syarhey Mikalayevich Rumas said that this was a good example of EAEU countries building new relations with their long-term partners.

By signing the agreement, Serbia will not become a member of the Eurasian Economic Union because membership was not a topic of negotiation since 2016, but primarily trade quotas for cheese, cigarettes and other products.

The total merchandize trade of Serbia with the five EAEU states amounted to USD 3.4 billion in 2018, and close to 90% of it is realized with Russia.

The agreement will come into effect once it is ratified by the parliaments of Serbia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

Ljajic: Agreement with EAEU is of great importance for Serbia

The free trade zone agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is of major importance for Serbia, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic told TASS on Friday.

– The agreement has a great economic significance as it opens access to a market embracing 180 million people for Serbian companies. These agreement covers 99% of Serbian commodity which will be exempt from customs duties, which will create favorable conditions for further successful cooperation in other sectors, along with trade – he said.

Ljajic said that Serbia expected new investments from both the EAEU countries and from the countries of the European Union which can also benefit from this agreement if they manufacture their products in Serbia.

– Obviously, this agreement will create a still more favorable climate in political relations and any other relations between Russia and Serbia, and these relations will influence practical spheres, in particular, the economy – Ljajic stressed.

He said he expected a growth in trade with the EAEU after the signing of this agreement.

– I would like to note that as of today as many as 743 Serbian companies export their goods to the Russian market, offering more than 1,200 types of commodity – he stressed.

The EAEU was officially founded on January 1, 2015.

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