Serbia and China have signed a free trade agreement and infrastructure contracts worth a total of €4bn ($4.4bn). The Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, led a delegation to China, where they finalized the agreements. The free trade agreement covers a wide range of products from both countries and is seen as a significant step in strengthening bilateral relations. The agreement was signed by the Serbian Minister of Trade, Tomislav Momirovic, and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Wentao.
President Vucic expressed his delight with the agreement, stating that it will open new opportunities for both countries. In addition to the free trade agreement, Serbia and China also signed memorandums of understanding on economic development policy and industrial and investment cooperation. A medium-term action plan for the implementation of the Belt and Road initiative was also established.
Alongside the trade agreement, Serbia signed three commercial agreements with Chinese companies for the development of infrastructure projects. These projects are estimated to be worth around €4bn and will include the construction of nearly 300 kilometres of new roads in Serbia. One of the projects involves the construction of a high-speed roadway in the province of Vojvodina, connecting Hungary and Romania. Another project focuses on the construction of a motorway linking Belgrade, Zrenjanin, and Novi Sad.
Furthermore, Serbia will acquire five high-speed trains from China for the Belgrade-Budapest railway line, at a cost of €54mn. These infrastructure projects aim to improve transportation connectivity within Serbia and enhance trade links with other countries.
During the visit, the Serbian Minister of Information and Telecommunications, Mihailo Jovanovic, met with representatives from Huawei. They discussed collaboration between Huawei and the Serbian government, particularly in advancing optical infrastructure in rural areas. Serbia aims to provide high-speed internet access to all households, with a project targeting the most remote regions by the end of 2025.
Serbia considers itself a leader in Southeast Europe in terms of optical coverage development, with over 75% of households already having access to high-speed internet. The government has prioritized digitizing public administration, strengthening infrastructure, and promoting artificial intelligence.
The agreements signed between Serbia and China signify a deepening of economic and trade relations between the two countries. They open doors for increased cooperation and investment, benefiting both nations.