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Sat 3 Dec 2016 10:51 AM

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UAE, Serbia eye closer links in tourism, agriculture, construction

Officials from both countries hold talks in Abu Dhabi to discuss ways of expanding economic relations

UAE, Serbia eye closer links in tourism, agriculture, construction

The UAE and Serbia have announced moves to increase trade links, with a focus on the tourism, agriculture, construction sectors.

Ways of expanding economic relations and co-operation in key sectors were at the centre of talks held on Monday by officials from the two countries in Abu Dhabi, news agency WAM reported.

Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade and Industry at the UAE Ministry of Economy, and Igor Mirovic, President of the Government of the Serbian province of Vojvodina, urged the launch of joint projects "capitalising on the potential of both countries".

Al Saleh added that direct flights between the two countries help expand trade and tourism between the two countries.

He said the UAE government is working on promoting innovation in seven major sectors - renewable energy, transportation, healthcare, education, technology, water resources and the space industry.

In October, it was reported that the UAE will lend Serbia $1 billion to help the indebted Balkan country refinance its existing debts and to help it finance its ongoing budget deficit.

Serbian Finance Minister Dusan Vujovic said said the 10-year loan would bear an interest rate of 2.25 percent and be ratified by parliament.

Serbia's economy has performed strongly this year, with its budget deficit forecast to come in at 2.5 percent of GDP this year, lower than the 4 percent planned for. Serbia has been pushing for the International Monetary Fund, with which it has a $1.2 billion loan deal, to authorise higher spending next year.

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