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Flourishing Friendship

The strategic partnership between Serbia and Greece is the result of a long period of excellent bilateral relations and a true friendship nurtured over many years. A new step in the same direction therefore feels like a natural way of honouring this tradition

Dates like 18th January 1879, when diplomatic relations between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Greece were established, will always serve as important milestones in the official history of our relations, but the tradition of close relations between our two countries dates back much further.

In recent history, the Thessaloniki Summit of 2003 stands as a major turning point in the European Union’s relations with the Western Balkans, but also as a symbol of Greek support to Serbia’s path to EU accession, followed by intensive investments in Serbia. Greece was at one point the second largest foreign investor in Serbia, with 1.4 billion euros invested. While this trend came to an abrupt end following the global financial crisis, which hit Greece particularly hard, the Greek business community in Serbia has retained an important and welcome presence.

As in many other cases in which a high level of bilateral relations are not always accompanied by an equal level of economic cooperation, Greece and Serbia are realising their trade exchange potentials rather slowly. Greek businesses are active in Serbia in the areas of wholesale and retail trade, science, innovation and communications, the processing sector, construction, hotels, agriculture and the food industry, consulting and legal services, employing close to 10,000 workers in the country.

According to official Serbian statistics, trade between the two countries totalled 636 million euros in 2021, representing a year-on-year increase of 13.3%, with Serbian exports amounting to 234 million euros (an increase of 29.8% compared to the previous year) and imports totalling 402 million euros (up 34.2% on 2020)

According to official Serbian statistics, trade between the two countries totalled 636 million euros in 2021, representing a year-onyear increase of 13.3%, with Serbian exports amounting to 234 million euros (an increase of 29.8% compared to the previous year) and imports totalling 402 million euros (up 34.2% on 2020). The Greek side has also highlighted new areas of cooperation that are yet to be exploited, such as IT and green energy.

Given that good political relations are always an imperative for advancing relations in the economy, culture and other fields, it is important to note the recent dynamics of political dialogue between our two countries. Over the last five to six years, we have witnessed a large number of visits from high-ranking Greek officials, until cooperation was established at the level of a strategic partnership in December 2019. Among them were the first session of the High Cooperation Council, held in Thessaloniki, and the official visit of then Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to Belgrade in 2017, the second session of the High Council for Cooperation between Serbia and Greece in 2018 and the official visit of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić to Athens and the third session of the High Cooperation Council in 2019. Other important visits included the visit of Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selaković to Athens in 2021 and the visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Belgrade in 2022. Finally, the President of Greece is expected to come to Belgrade at the beginning of March 2022, at the invitation of President Vučić.

The joint declaration represents a cornerstone in advancing cooperation between the two countries in terms of political cooperation and cooperation in international organisations, cooperation in the field of defence, security and civil protection, economic cooperation, cooperation in culture, education, civil society, youth and sports, scientific and technological cooperation and cooperation in the field of environmental protection. One can only expect such a development to yield enduring and even more fruitful cooperation between our countries.

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