Spain seeks to be a strategic partner of Serbia for its energy transition
Spain is interested in becoming a strategic partner of Serbia in the face of the energy transition, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Reyes Maroto told EFE this Thursday, after signing two protocols in Belgrade to promote the trade relations and investments between the two countries. “We already have a large presence of Spanish companies in this market, where we clearly see that the Government of Serbia can have Spanish companies as allies”, explained Maroto.
The area where the Government of Serbia “is placing its priority” is the energy transition, in a context in which the war in Ukraine has had “a great impact” and where it is developing a new regulation, as reported by the minister. It is particularly here where Spain, with its companies, wants to be “a strategic partner to be able to accompany this transition”, the minister stated.
Another sector where, in his opinion, there is potential to increase cooperation is that of infrastructure and transport. To this end, Maroto has signed with the Serbian Minister of Finance, Sinissa Maliand the head for European Integration, Tanja Miscević, two protocols. One of these documents, on financial and technical cooperation in the area of infrastructure, must make it easier for investment projects in the field of transport, sustainable mobility, energy, water treatment, recycling or environmental protection. The second document is “very important” for Maroto, because “it allows us to finance technical assistance studies that allow us to develop projects that become investments“.
The protocols will “allow financing, with official support, spanish company projects that otherwise could not be carried out”, stated the president of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (International CEOE), Marta Blanco. In Belgrade, Maroto inaugurated together with the Serbian Minister of Commerce, Tomislavo Momirović, the Spain-Serbia Business Forum with the participation of twenty Spanish companies. “It’s about relaunching our trade and investment relationships, putting them at the level of our political relations“, according to Maroto, who recalled that in July, the visit to Serbia by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, marked “a turning point in the commercial, business field”.
“I believe that we provide an accompaniment to our companies so that we are not only political partners and continue to be a great ally of Serbia in its European integration and in the defense of its territorial integrity, but to go one step further because trade and investment relations are below their potential“, he considered.
Also the CEO of the Spanish Chamber of CommerceInmaculada Riera i Reñé, highlighted to EFE the importance of “supporting companies in identifying these opportunities that may arise in Serbia, a strategic country for Spain“. The forum “is an example of public-private collaborationwhich is the best instrument to strengthen and promote the corporation and support for companies”, he commented.
The commercial exchange between Spain and Serbia, which in 2021 reached €722 million -almost 50% more than in 2018 and double that registered in 2015- could reach 1,000 million euros this year. Currently, some 30 Spanish companies are present in Serbia. Reyes Maroto has indicated that he plans to meet this Thursday with the president of Serbia, aleksandar vucic.
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