Serbian President Boris Tadic on Thursday pledged to promote economic and trade ties with China, welcoming Chinese investment.
Serbia wanted to maintain high-level political ties with China and enhance economic exchanges and cooperation, said Tadic at a business forum held by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).
Serbia has signed free trade agreements with the European Union, Russia, Belarus, Turkey and the eight countries of South Eastern Europe (SEE), giving Serbia access to a free trade market covering 800 million people, he said.
"The security of foreign investments are guaranteed by the Serbian government," Tadic said.
Chinese telecommunications equipment providers Huawei and ZTE were among the foreign investment successes, he said.
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Mladjan Dinkic briefed Chinese companies on Serbia's transport facilities, tax and preferential policies for companies in the information, telecommunications and electronics sectors.
"Serbia has noticed the exponential growth and the export potential of Chinese high-tech companies, and especially welcomes Chinese investments from areas of telecommunication, electronic and automobile industries," Dinkic said.
China-Serbia trade volume surged from 9 million US dollars in 1994 to 460 million US dollars last year, said Dong Songgen, vice chairman of the CCPIT.
The participants at the forum were mainly Chinese industries in the energy, construction, finance, medicine, consulting, agriculture and textiles sectors.
Tadic arrived in Beijing early Wednesday for a week-long state visit as a guest of President Hu Jintao. It is the first official visit by a Serbian head of state since Serbia became an independent state in 2006.
(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2009)