The Chinese Development Bank is ready to invest 30 billion dollars in various projects worlwide. Part of the money will probably be invested in Serbia as well, as the Chinese are interested in investing funds in infrastructure, energy and agriculture. Serbian business people were advised of the fact during a recent visit of a Serbian busines and parliamentary delegation to China, led by the Serbian Parliament speaker.
The Serbian delegation was on a visit to China from August 26 to 30, at the invitation of the president of Permanent Commitee of the Pan-Chinese People’s Congress, Vu Bangguo. During a return visit of Chinese Vice-President Si Jiping, it was emphasized that China continues supporting Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and that the Chinese politics counts on cooperation with the Western Balkans.
The two countries’ officials signed several bilateral agreements. The Chinese government granted Serbia a privileged loan of 300 million USD for the contruction of the „Kostolac” thermal power plant. The signed documents also include an agreement on economic and technical cooperation, as well as letters of intent for irrevocable aid of 10 million juans for medical equipment and a donation of five million juans for the training of human resources in Serbia. Representatives of the Chinese Development Bank showed an interest for the financing and construction of railway Corridor 10 through Serbia and the Belgrade-Southern Adriatic motorway, i.e. Corridor 11.
Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Ðukic Dejanovic said that firm cooperation of the two countries’ parliaments had been agreed upon, as well as the realization of a loan contract for the revitalization of the „Kostolac” thermal power plant.
The director of Serbia’s „Kostolac” thermal power plant, Dragan Jovanovic, said in Beijing, after talks with the governor of the “Eksim” bank, that the loan is worth 300 million USD and that only procedural issues have remained, which issues are to be resolved by the Bank in a month. An agreement has been signed with “CMEK” ( China National Machines and Equipment Import and Export Corporation ) a leading company in the field of electric energy, whcih agreement refers to the revitalization of thermal blocks in the Kostolac” thermal power plant, some 80km east of Belgrade, and the construction of a complete plant for removing sulphur. Besides, some infrastructural facilities required for the process, such as the railroad, part of the road network and a port on the Danube are to be built. The second phase envisages the construction of a new energy unit, of 350 MW in power and the enlargement of the “Drmno” pit. The entire arrangement would cost 718 million dollars.
According to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, economic cooperation with China is not going on in line with true potentials. The most significant form of economic cooperation is trade in merchandise, which has been on a rise laterly, but the Serbian side has suffered a big deficit. In 2010, China was at the fourth position on the list of Serbia’s foreign trade partners, after Germany, Russia and Italy.
Economic cooperation, trade exchange and investments were in the focus of talks of the two countries’ presidents two years ago, in August 2009, when the Serbian president visited China. On that occasion, a strategic partnership was agreed upon and mutual relations were increased to a higher level.