The China-Serbia Economic partnership has not only allowed Serbia to better cope with the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic but has also brought new cooperation opportunities in areas such as high-tech and agriculture, an expert has said.

Encouraged by the solidarity between the two countries during the pandemic, Chinese companies in Serbia continued with their investment and projects, while new fields of cooperation are under discussion, Pavle Basic, Member of Serbia’s National Council for Coordination of Cooperation with Russia and China, said.

Acknowledging that the pandemic has reshaped global economic relations, Basic said the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Serbia has made the two countries’ relations more resilient against the impact of a pandemic.

“A great number of Chinese companies currently operate in Serbia and are engaged in important projects in transport and energy infrastructure, mining, metallurgy, the IT industry, telecommunications, agriculture, etc,” Basic said.

He noted that there are no major risks for Chinese companies in Serbia, as Serbia has attached great importance to Chinese companies and has contributed to the Belt & Road Initiative.

“Serbia has much to offer to its Chinese partners. The Serbian market is the largest one in the Western Balkan region, which is situated on the main road connecting Asia and Europe and fits well into China’s Belt & Road Initiative,” Basic noted.

“We deem the initiative to be one of the most significant initiatives in the global arena, which will contribute to global partnership in all areas,” Basic said.

He added that in addition to the incentives the Serbian government has already put in place, it has also introduced additional subsidies for citizens and businesses, including Chinese companies, to overcome the negative effects of COVID-19.

Once the pandemic is over, there will be great opportunities for Chinese companies in the fields of high-tech and telecommunications, as well as accelerated digitization in the country, he said, adding that he anticipates more engagement from Chinese companies.

“We would love to see a deeper involvement of Chinese companies in the fields of renewable energy and electric vehicles,” he noted.