MOSCOW OFFICIAL

To avoid losing steam

The Mayors of Moscow and Belgrade Sergey Sobyanin and Siniša Mali signed a program for cooperation between the Government of Moscow and the City of Belgrade for 2018-2020. The ceremony took place within the scope of Days of Belgrade in Moscow on May 25-27.

“Over the past two years, we have intensified ties between Moscow and Belgrade. We have not only signed but are successfully implementing the cooperation program for 2015, 2016, and 2017. Last year we held Moscow Days in Belgrade, today we’re hosting Days of Belgrade in Moscow. Aside from the cultural program, we are actively developing economic ties between our cities. In order to avoid losing steam, we have agreed on developing a new three-year program,” Sergey Sobyanin said. According to him, experience over the past few years has shown the two cities have a lot of potential for cooperation across just about every sphere.

Mr. Mali thanked Sergey Sobyanin for his hospitality. “I am glad that we’ve managed to put into practice everything we talked about two years ago. I am confident that the agreement we’re signing today will also be fully implemented,” he declared, recalling that export volumes from Belgrade to Moscow have quadrupled over the past four years.

The Mayor of Belgrade said that the capital of Serbia has borrowed a lot from Moscow. “In terms of the development of pedestrian areas, bike lanes, and parks, we are implementing all of this in Belgrade,” Siniša Mali said. According to him, it’s important for the two cities to cooperate in the sphere of tourism. “If you agree, I am proposing for the tourism organization of Belgrade and the tourism organization of Moscow work together and hold joint advertising campaigns in order to increase tourist volumes in Moscow and Belgrade,” the Mayor of Serbia’s capital explained.

The talks were also attended by Minister of the Moscow Government, Head of the Moscow Department of External Economic and International Relations Sergey Cheremin and Chairman of the Moscow City Duma Alexey Shaposhnikov.

Days of Belgrade in Moscow , organized by the Moscow Department for External Economic Affairs and International Relations (DVMS), were attended by representatives of the government, famous politicians, businessmen, and cultural figures from both cities.

During the business forum held to address questions related to the development of bilateral cooperation, which took place during Days of Belgrade in Moscow, Sergey Cheremin said that Serbia is a long-term, reliable partner for Russia. “I want to genuinely thank Serbs for their honest and courageous position,” the minister said, “they didn’t support the sanctions against Russia in 2014. Strong partnership ties between our countries and capitals are now established in the spheres of the economy, culture, athletic exchange, healthcare, and social programs.”

Sergey Cheremin especially stressed cooperation in the economic sphere. “It’s worth pointing out Russian Railways projects in the development of Serbia’s transportation infrastructure, as well as investments made by Gazprom,” the minister said, “The company invested about three billion euros into the development of one of the largest filling station networks in the Balkans.”

The head of the DVMS also pointed out that Belgrade has been developing rapidly. Grandiose projects are being implemented: improvements to river embankments, the construction of a business quarter, the establishment of technoparks, and the development of a project for the construction of the Friendship Park in the center of Belgrade. New roads are being built, and the construction of the metro is expected to begin in 2019. “I hope that Moscow companies that have years of experience in building some of the most complicated metro systems across the territories of the former Soviet Union, Russia, and other countries will be able to participate in the tenders. It’s important for us to continue with our cooperation,” Sergey Cheremin said.

During his presentation at the business forum, Siniša Mali said that today’s Serbia is a rapidly developing country that has a lot of investment appeal. “The stars of today’s form should not be officials, but the entrepreneurs,” he said, “The main goal of the conference is the development of economic ties between the two capitals.

According to the Mayor of Belgrade, the export volumes of products from Belgrade, which have increased to over half a billion euros over the past year, is a good indicator of cooperation. Last year, exports of produce from Serbia increased to 80.6 thousand tons. 75% of these exports are apples, pears, apricots, peaches and plums. Vegetable exports more than doubled.

The discussions continued during the round tables “Moscow - Belgrade’s Economic Partner” and “Cooperation in the Sphere of Tourism.” The round tables included presentations of interesting projects and  discussions of potential collaborations across different spheres, including the food sector, construction, sports and tourism.

The business forum ended with b2b meetings between Russian and Serbian entrepreneurs, during which business community representatives discussed specific opportunities for collaboration. Moreover, members of the Serbian delegation visited Technopolis Moscow, the Moscow Traffic Management Center, the Nikola Tesla Museum, and the photo exhibition “Belgrade in Moscow.”

A “Belgrade Corner” was opened in the center of the Russian capital (Kamergersky Pereulok), where the folk ensemble “Talia” and the children’s collective “Kosovskiye Piony” performed for Muscovites all day. The Cosmos movie theatre held a screening of Serbian director Emir Kusturica’s film “On the Milky Road” as part of Days of Belgrade. Addressing the audience, he said: “Moscow has always been one of my favorite cities, and today I am proud to represent my city and my country here through my films. They show Serbian culture, the difficult period during the war, and life in Serbia. I hope that Days of Belgrade in Moscow go well and will help our people grow even closer.”

The athletic program for Days of Belgrade included junior basketball and tennis competitions. Mali and Cheremin took part in one of the tennis matches.

At the final press conference, the Mayor of the Serbian capital thanked the Government of Moscow for giving Belgrade an opportunity to share their culture and history, demonstrate the city’s economic and investment potential, and for helping with the organization of Days of Belgrade in Moscow. “Our people and countries strive to develop and strengthen our existing relations. Moscow Days in Belgrade last year and Days of Belgrade in Moscow this year are a major step in this direction. You set up everything perfectly for us. We want to develop with Moscow, to show you that you have real friends who will never betray you,” the Mayor of Belgrade said.

 

CAPITAL IDEAS

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