Government of Serbia – October 25, 2019.
Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabic has signed in Moscow a Free Trade Agreement between Serbia and the Eurasian Union, which expands the list of Serbian products that can be exported to the territory of the EAEU duty-free and increases quotas for export of goods subject to restrictions.
The agreement will replace existing bilateral agreements with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and extend the free trade zone to Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, which covers a market of approximately 185 million people.
The Prime Minister, at a session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, as a whole, stressed that the document was of great importance for Serbia and its economy, for more dynamic growth, competitiveness of companies and a better standard of citizens.
She recalled that Serbia has so far had bilateral agreements with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, while the unified agreement with the Union extends cooperation to Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.
I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for being open partners, so that we have achieved additional liberalization in relation to the agreements with the three countries, the Prime Minister said.
According to her, it was further agreed that 2,000 tons of cigarettes, approximately 90,000 litres of Vinjak (cognac-like 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 will be exported to the countries of this union.
Brnabic suggested that she speak on behalf of Serbia, which has long been isolated, adding that some members know what it is like to be sanctioned and how much time and opportunity is wasted as others grow and develop.
Serbia, she said, had been inactive for too long or had been waiting for others to open its doors after a long period of isolation. Today, we are committed to working with anyone who can help the economy grow and citizens live better.
The Prime Minister reminded that Serbia became a member of the Eurasian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and that yesterday it had a meeting with the Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, all with the aim of cooperation in order to make Serbian citizens better.
According to her, despite growing protectionism in the world, Serbia is a promoter and advocate of free trade, which it shows on a daily basis.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that members of the Eurasian Economic Union – the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan have a total GDP of approximately two trillion US dollars.
Prime Minister of Belarus Rumas Sergei Nikolaevich said this is a good example of how Eurasian countries are building new relationships with their long-standing partners.
Serbia will not become a member of the Eurasian Economic Union by signing the Agreement, since membership was not a topic of negotiations that have been under way since 2016, but primarily trade quotas for cheese, cigarettes and other products.
Serbia’s total trade with the five EAEU member countries totaled $ 3.4 billion last year, with about 90 percent of total trade being traded with Russia.The implementation of the Agreement will begin when ratified by the parliaments of Serbia, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
The signing of this document was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic.
The Eurasian Economic Union was formally established on 1 January 2015.
Source: Government of Serbia