Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic hailed China as a true friend as the country has received much needed help in its efforts to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In an interview on Monday, Vucic said the Belt & Road Initiative and the China and Central and Eastern European Countries have seen positive results, and Serbia is looking to develop economic cooperation and enhance anti-epidemic cooperation with China.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed. That’s a great sentence. Your great support, your great assistance to this country. Well, at least, we are very thankful we don’t hide it. I wait for that good, it doesn’t matter whether it’s ventilators or vaccines and I do say many thanks to our Chinese friends. And that’s how I think we should,” said Vucic.

Vucic praised Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks at the 73rd World Health Assembly that the vaccines will be made a global public good, which will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.

Thanks to the Chinese vaccines, Serbia has the largest population that received vaccinations among the European countries.

“He said this is public good. It does not belong only to China. He offered something that was done by Chinese people but he offered it to the world. And I still remember his words. He said ‘well, this Belt & Road Initiative, we need to work, to have happy people in China. But it’s not only about people in China, it’s about all the nations and all the countries on that road,” said Vucic.

Both countries have achieved productive results in the areas of infrastructure, construction, energy, telecommunications, education and culture within the Belt & Road and the China and Central and Eastern European Countries cooperation framework.

They have not only provided hundreds of thousands of jobs for Serbia but also driven the GDP growth in the country, said Vucic.

“If you go it doesn’t matter which part of Serbia you can see new plants, new factories, new production lines. This is something that we successfully done. In 2020, we are going to minus one percent and you can imagine all the others, they go up to minus 17, minus 18 in 2020, and we in 2021 to have plus six percent of growth rate and our public debt is only 57 percent to GDP ratio. And we wouldn’t be able to deliver such good results to our people without great support from China,” said Vucic.

For the upcoming Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries which will be held online on Tuesday, Vucic said he hopes to hear more about China’s experience.

“First of all, I’m very much interested in President Xi’s speech. I want to see his view on the global future and his view on our cooperation, all of us with China and to see what are Chinese plans,” said the Serbian President.