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Serbian in China Sees Bright Future in Growing China-Serbia Relations | Insights

By YAN DENG|May 11,2024

Chongqing - Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his state visit to Serbia on May 9 with elevated ties, deepened friendship and promising cooperation, according to Xinhua reports. 

Uroš Zjalić, a Serbian resident in China for nearly five years, shared his insights into the visit and its potential impact on his business and personal life, which straddles both nations.

Uroš Zjalić, a Serbian resident in China for nearly five years whose lives straddle both nations, shares his insights into the visit and its potential impact on his business and personal life. (Photo/Deng Yan)

Zjalić, actively involved in the food and beverage industry and recently shifted focus to trading, expressed optimism regarding the upcoming China-Serbia Free Trade Agreement, scheduled to come into effect on July 1 this year. "The agreement is incredibly beneficial for my business,he said, noting the mutual opening up will boost trade between the two countries.

Having received numerous requests from family and friends back in Serbia to bring items from China, Zjalić recognizes the burgeoning interest in business opportunities between the two nations.

According to the press conference held on May 8 at the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade during President Xi Jinping's visit, China will import more high-quality agricultural specialties from Serbia. Procedures for exporting dried plums and blueberries to China have already been completed, and the restrictions related to highly pathogenic avian influenza have been lifted.

"It's not just me considering this kind of (trading) business,he emphasizes, highlighting a broader trend among Serbian residents and the region.

In recent years, China and Serbia have stayed committed to practical cooperation and delivering welfare for the two peoples. The high-quality Belt and Road cooperation between China and Serbia has achieved remarkable results.

Zjalić points to the transformative potential of China's planned projects in Europe and Serbia, such as the canal spanning from Greece to Belgrade. He anticipates significant economic and infrastructural benefits for his homeland.

Moreover, Zjalić underscores the personal convenience stemming from improved travel and visa regulations between China and Serbia, particularly as his wife is Chinese and they recently welcomed a child. The streamlined processes are poised to facilitate smoother visits between the two countries, fostering stronger familial and cultural connections.

In the next three years, the Chinese side will invite 300 young Serbians to China for study and exchange programs and support 50 young Serbian scientists in participating in scientific research exchanges in China.

China welcomes Serbia's opening of direct flights from Belgrade to Shanghai and encourages the two countries’ airlines to open direct flights from Belgrade to Guangzhou.

Reflecting on the evolving China-Serbia relationship, Zjalić expresses satisfaction with the growing friendship and cooperation. "You can see that in all these years, the relationship is getting only better and that there is no negative aspect of the story," he said.

"This is the happiest thing I can say because I have lots of family here and in Serbia, so I'm very happy that the relationship is getting better," he added.

(Han Xi, as an intern, also contributed to the report)


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