Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in China in October, according to Jelena Begovic, Minister of Science, Technological Development and Innovation of Serbia.
The visit will mark the third time for President Vucic has attended the BRI forum, after attending the previous editions held in 2017 and 2019, Begovic said in an interview with Chinese media outlet the Beijing Daily.
Begovic noted that Serbia is a staunch supporter of the BRI and has been involved in the visionary initiative since it was first proposed by China in 2013.
BRI cooperation has become a catalyst for technological development in Serbia, Begovic said.
She said that through its participation in the BRI, Serbia is able to gain access to China's advanced technology and expertise, especially in the fields of infrastructure, energy and telecommunications.
For example, the Hungary-Serbia Railway, an important project under the BRI has transported nearly three million passengers between Belgrade and Novi Sad, Serbia's two largest cities in first year of operation. The construction of the second phase of the project is proceeding according to schedule and is expected to complete by the end of 2024.
China-Serbia ties have witnesses several projects move forward under the BRI. Serbian and Chinese companies signed contracts worth over $510 million at a business forum in Belgrade, the Serbian government said in a press release last month, signaling the strengthening of bilateral ties within the BRI framework .
The arrival of massive Chinese investments in Serbia also guaranteed and created new jobs, new technologies, and management practices that have increased efficiency and productivity to the country, Begovic said.
She added that the BRI cooperation has directly boosted Serbia's visibility on the global investment map which is conductive for Serbia to attract foreign direct investment and facilitate cooperation with global tech companies.
These collaborations provide opportunities for Serbian companies and start-ups to participate in joint ventures, technology transfer and knowledge sharing, thus accelerating technological innovation in various sectors of the economy, she said.