Serbia, Canada For Moving Cooperation Forward

BELGRADE, Sept. 1, 2014, (BETA) - Serbia and Canada wish to enhance cooperation, primarily in the fields of energy and mining, where Ottawa wants to invest, the two countries' foreign ministers Ivica Dacic and John Baird said in Belgrade on Sept. 1.

"There is a large number of Canadian companies operating in Serbia -- more than 50, and Canada is primarily interested in investing in the energy sector, particularly in hydropower plants," Dacic told a joint news conference with Baird. He added that talks had most advanced on the Bistrica pumped-storage plant, while the Brodarevo hydropower plant and investments in the copper mining and smelting complex RTB Bor are also being discussed.

The Serbian minister stressed that, despite Canada's investments of millions of dollars in Serbia over the past few years, foreign trade was still small, amounting to slightly more than USD40 million, which was why cooperation would be boosted by the deal on inciting and shielding investments, signed on Sept. 1.

Baird said the agreement would ensure safe business for Canadian firms in Serbia. Baird, Canada's first foreign minister to visit Serbia in 13 years, stressed that Ottawa strongly backed democratic and reform processes in Serbia.

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