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January 23, 2017, EIRNS -- In an important development , on January 21, 2017, the Bank of China has officially opened its Balkan regional branch in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, to provide banking services for cooperation in investments, trade, tourism and other fields, for countries in the region – Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and others.  The event dominated  headlines in all major media in Serbia and beyond.
The ceremony was held in the Government`s Palace and attended by President of the Republic Tomislav Nikolic and members of the Government.  This important development follows last June`s state visit of the President of the Republic of China Xi Jinping to Serbia and also, his talks last week with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic  at the Davos Economic Summit in Switzerland.

The bank of China is the fourth strongest bank in the world and the second strongest in China.

As Zivadin Jovanovic, President of the Belgrade Silk Road Connectivity Center and of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals in Belgrade noted in a TV commentary on Sunday,  cooperation under OBOR, as global initiative, is not important only for development of CEE-countries, but for the whole of Europe.  Through win-win OBOR-cooperation Europe and China are getting closer, which is equally positive from an economic, cultural and political point of view, particularly now when EU is passing through serious difficulties.
Furthermore he underlined, that Serbia`s role in the implementation of the China – CEE cooperation under OBOR is growing.  The two countries are strategic partners cooperating in various fields. Just in the last five years, partners from the two countries have been constructing or modernizing roads, highways, railways, ports, bridges, tunnels, thermo-electric plant, steelwork factory, strengthening people to people exchange.
As of 1st January this year, no-visa system for citizens of the two countries came into force. A number of infrastructure projects, already implemented, or under implementation in Serbia, are highly important for modernization of connectivity in the CEE region, and in Europe.

Lastly, he said, that cooperation under CEE-OBOR has proven to be very important for Serbia`s overall economic development, modernization of industry and infrastructure and improvement of international standing.  (efi)