The elements of the Free Trade Agreement between the Republic of Serbia and the People's Republic of China, the implementation of which will begin on July 1, 2024, were presented in Novi Sad at the City Hall. On that occasion, the Mayor of Novi Sad Milan Đurić addressed the audience together with the Minister of Internal and Foreign Trade Tomislav Momirović, the President of the Provincial Government Maja Gojković, the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia Marko Čadež and the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Serbia H.E. Li Ming.

- Just imagine what the momentum of development of our economy will be if Serbian companies properly use this Agreement and enter China's global supply chains based on it. Today, we can automatically export more than 6,000 products duty-free, and in the next 5 to 10 years, more than 3,000 more products will be exempt from customs duty. One of the goals of this arrangement is to facilitate the access of products of Serbian origin to the Chinese market. This, I am sure, will lead to a significant increase in exports, but also in return, to the expansion of investments and economic activities in our country. Trade liberalization will bring numerous benefits to local entrepreneurs. That's why I especially welcome the idea to continue presenting the benefits of this Agreement in major economic centers in the country, as is the case today in Novi Sad - Mayor Milan Đurić emphasized.

As Minister Tomislav Momirović explained, the agreement with China will enable free access to markets that include a population of over 2.2 billion inhabitants.

- In the previous 12 years, the export of Serbian companies increased by more than 300%. This indicates the fact that free trade agreements have brought positive results for our economy. When we talk about the economic relations between Serbia and the Republic of China, I would like to underline that China is among the most important economic partners of Serbia and the biggest investors in the Serbian economy. From 2014 to 2023, the People's Republic of China invested 6.1 billion dollars, and our economic cooperation is on the rise - Momirović said.

According to the President of the Provincial Government, Maja Gojković, AP Vojvodina concluded nine interregional agreements with the provinces of the People's Republic of China, and as a result of those agreements, more investment projects are being implemented, which are being worked on by Chinese companies, or are being financed with the resources of the People's Republic of China.

- These are very important projects for Serbia, and we are talking about the construction of the high-speed railway, the Fruška gora Corridor, the ring road around Novi Sad, the new bridge that connects Bačka and Srem and other parts of our country, as well as the construction of the Linglong factory complex in Zrenjanin - she stated.

The President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Marko Čadež, pointed out that with the implementation of the Agreement, Serbian entrepreneurs will have preferential conditions for doing business in the territory of the Republic of China, and space will be opened for the domestic economy for those products that are already competitive on the international market, such as food products, products of dairy industry and products from the production of alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages.

- More than 60% of the tariff lines have the status of full liberalization, i.e. 0% customs for export to the People's Republic of China - Čadež concluded.

Ambassador of the People's Republic of China in Serbia H.E. Li Ming assessed that the Chinese economy is resilient, vital and very important for world development.

- In the last ten years, the volume of trade between Serbia and China has increased three times, and China is an important investment partner of Serbia. The agreement will enable more quality Serbian products to be found in the homes of Chinese citizens. Serbia has a favorable geographical position and its economy is developing rapidly, and I am convinced that because of this Agreement, more Chinese companies will start doing business in Serbia, especially in the fields of information technology, bio-engineering and environmental protection - the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China said.

Novi Sad, 1st July 2024