India and Serbia have set an ambitious target of achieving a bilateral trade volume of one billion euros by the end of the decade. President Droupadi Murmu of India and her Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vucic, have expressed their commitment to strengthen bilateral relations and explore new areas of cooperation. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) highlighted the significant discussions and engagements between the two leaders during President Murmu’s visit to Serbia.
Targeting Bilateral Trade Expansion:
President Droupadi Murmu and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic agreed to set a target for bilateral trade between the two countries to reach one billion euros, aiming to surpass the current trade volume of 32 crore Euros. The MEA Secretary-West, Sanjay Verma, confirmed this during a media briefing.
Strengthening Bilateral Relations:
Both leaders reiterated their commitment to existing agreements and explored opportunities to enhance cooperation across various sectors. They discussed the importance of upholding the rule of law, respecting sovereignty, and preserving territorial integrity. President Vucic described Serbia’s relationship with India as a fraternity and encouraged President Murmu to consider Serbia as a second motherland.
Areas of Cooperation:
President Vucic identified six major areas of cooperation for further collaboration between India and Serbia. These areas include defense and military technology cooperation, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, industrial cooperation, information technology, artificial intelligence, cultural cooperation (including film production), and cemetery graphics.
Promoting Culture, Cinema, and Tourism:
Cultural cooperation, particularly in cinema and tourism, emerged as a recurring theme in the discussions. Serbia expressed its interest in attracting Indian filmmakers for shooting and post-production activities. President Vucic highlighted the benefits of collaboration between the film industry and tourism, contributing to better mutual understanding and business relations. Serbia also offered attractive concessions, such as cashback facilities, to encourage filming in the country.
Enhancing Connectivity and Direct Flights:
President Vucic expressed his desire to establish direct air linkages between Belgrade and Delhi, acknowledging the work ethos and sincerity of Indians. He proposed several concessions and subsidies that Serbia was willing to offer to Indian airlines operating direct flights between the two countries. President Murmu assured President Vucic that India’s private civil aviation sector would be informed about these facilities.
President Murmu emphasized the need for cooperation in new areas such as science and technology, machinery, equipment, startups, and clean and renewable energy. She also highlighted the potential of skilled and semiskilled manpower from India to address human resource gaps in Serbia. The discussion also touched upon India’s spiritual heritage, including yoga and Ayurveda, which are popular in Serbia.
Here are some key points about Serbia:
Currency: Serbian Dinar (RSD)
President: Aleksandar Vučić (as of 2023)
Prime Minister: Ana Brnabić
Official Language: Serbian
Population: Approximately 7 million
Area: 77,474 square kilometers
Time Zone: Central European Time (CET)
- Serbia is a landlocked country, bordered by Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest.
- The country has a rich history and cultural heritage, influenced by various civilizations and empires.
- Serbia is known for its natural beauty, including the Danube River, mountains, and national parks.