BELGRADE, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic Friday met visiting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wibur Ross.
During the meetings, the Serbian officials said the country is willing to advance trade, investments, cooperation on infrastructure projects and overall economic cooperation with the United States to further boost its business environment.
According to a press release of the government, Ljajic and Ross talked about possibilities to increase the scale of trade and cooperation in the area of tourism between the two countries, and also discussed Serbia's integration process into the World Trade Organization.
Ljajic noted that the harmonization of the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between Serbia and the U.S. is in progress, and estimated that its signing could be of great importance when it comes to increasing investments from the U.S. to Serbia.
Ross told his counterpart that Serbia is an interesting destination for U.S. investors, and announced that companies in the area of information technologies and high-tech in general will start to arrive in Serbia in near future.
Ross, who arrived in Serbia on Thursday, was on a two-day visit. He met Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Minister of construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic on Thursday.
In meeting with Prime Minister Brnabic, Ross talked about the importance of U.S. investors who already do business in Serbia, such as Microsoft and NCR - for the economic and technological development. U.S. companies employ 17,000 people in Serbia.
The two sides agreed that there is room for more investments.
Ross and Vucic Thursday attended the signing of a memorandum of understanding and cooperation in the area of infrastructure between the two countries that envisages for Serbia to inform the U.S. about its priority projects, while in return, the other side pledges to promote participation of U.S. companies in implementing and financing those projects.
Vucic told Ross after the signing ceremony that Serbia "will not give up on great projects and dreams to make it more successful, richer and stronger". He estimating that the newly signed memorandum will attract more investors from the U.S. and open doors for tighter cooperation between the two countries.
"We can very soon expect the participation of U.S. companies in infrastructure projects such as the Morava Corridor (highway linking Preljina to Pojate in central Serbia) as well as the Nis-Plocnik-Pristina highway," he said.
Vucic stressed the importance of improving economic relations between the two countries, while Ross expressed his belief that the growing presence of U.S. companies will promote Serbia's future European Union membership.