Serbia, Shanxi explore business opportunities at fair


Updated: 2019-09-10

The guest country and province of honor at the China International Fair for Investment and Trade 2019 are exploring future potential cooperation in the show that highlights bilateral investment opportunities.

Serbia, the Guest Country of Honor of CIFIT, has organized a 120-member delegation to showcase the country's business and commercial strength at the fair. The delegation is led by Rasim Ljajic, deputy prime minister and minister of trade, tourism and telecommunications and is composed of senior officials and industrial leaders.

Participation in the fair will give a strong impetus to the further enhancement of the traditionally excellent bilateral relations between China and Serbia, said Ljajic, who attended a couple of heavyweight forums and meetings at the ongoing fair, which is held in Xiamen, East China's Fujian province.

"We are the first European countries joining the Belt and Road Initiative and the move has benefited us a lot," Ljajic said on Sunday.

Statistics from the Ministry of Finance of Serbia show the country received record-high foreign direct investment of 3.5 billion euros ($3.86 billion) last year, which the government said was mainly attributed to the stable political environment, improving living facilities and the supports from the Chinese investors. The figure turned out to be 2 billion euros in the first half of 2019, up 31 percent from a year before.

Zijin Mining Group, a listed company mainly engaged in the exploration and mining of gold, copper and zinc based in Fujian, has been one of the largest investors in Serbia and has acquired the country's largest copper mine.

The import and export between Serbia and Fujian reached 130 million yuan ($18.3 million) in the first seven months of this year, up 85.7 percent from the corresponding period last year, according to government figures.

North China's Shanxi province is the Guest Province of Honor of CIFIT for the first time. A total of 128 companies have joined the delegation, led by Governor Lou Yangsheng, which has brought 311 selected projects to the fair to attract investment from home and abroad.

More than 50 road shows will also be introduced at the fair, covering areas from advanced manufacturing, culture and tourism to energy, bio-medicine and agriculture.

The governor said Shanxi is seeking wider cooperation with the outside world.

"We have solid foundation in the infrastructure of energy, agriculture, building and manufacturing," Lou said. "We are getting more open and will continue to improve the investment environment."