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After visiting Croatia and FYR Macedonia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop traveled to Serbia. In Belgrade she has met with the news Serbian PM Ana Brnabic. She will also meet Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and Australian businesses working in the region to discuss opportunities for increased cooperation, including in mining, as well as promote Australian efforts on women’s economic empowerment with a local NGO partner.
Bishop said there is a mutual interest in strengthening bilateral relations of the two countries, especially in the fields of economy, culture and education. She also said that the Serbian diaspora in Australia is one of the most important bridges of the previous and future cooperation of the two countries and much more attention should be paid to it to various activities in the future.
"I am wisiting Serbia because I believe there is an opportunity for us to enhance our already strong friendship. As I said earlier there is a very active Serbian diaspora in Australia and the links between our two countries are very positive but there is an opportunity for us to do a lot more in trade and commerce, but also our commitment to common causes on the global stage," said Bishop for SBS Serbian.
Brnabic pointed out that Serbia has taken strong steps towards stabilization of the economy and fiscal consolidation in the last three years, adding that these measures now yield results and that Serbia expects faster economic growth in the next year. She invited Australian companies to invest and operate in Serbia.
Brnabic and Bishop also agreed to work on joint projects that produce results in the future, such as Jadar project by the company Rio Tinto Loznica.
Bishop praised Serbia's commitment to Eurointegration and conveyed the support of the government of Australia to the opening of the chapters in the negotiations of our country with the EU.
"We are very keen to encourage Serbia on its path towards accession to the EU and to the WTO and to continue to work with Serbian as it embraces democracy and the rule of law and open market", said Bishop for SBS Serbian.