Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva met Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, who is on an official visit to this country. The two discussed matters of bilateral interest, as well as issues related to the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
‘Last year, there has been a 40-percent growth in bilateral trade and a 14-percent growth in tourism exchange,’ noted Minister Zaharieva. She informed the Serbian President about the support the Western Balkans Strategy received from the foreign ministers of the EU during their informal meeting in Sofia last week. Zaharieva also conveyed warm greetings to President Vučić from Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, who on this day was taking part in the informal European Council in Brussels.
Aleksandar Vučić thanked the Bulgarian Government for its support for the European integration of his country. ‘It is my great honor to be visiting the Bulgarian Council of Ministers. Please convey my greetings to our friend Boyko,’ he said. During their talks, the two delegations discussed some joint infrastructure projects between their respective countries: road, rail and energy links.
Three intergovernmental agreements were signed in the presence of Minister Zaharieva.
The Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Ivaylo Moskovski and the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlović signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Serbia on improving the efficiency of rail transport, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of the Republic of Bulgaria and theSerbianMinistry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure in the development of river port infrastructure along the river Danube, as necessary for the storage and conveyance of liquefied natural gas.
The former agreement is designed to deepen cooperation in the building of railroad infrastructure along Transport Corridor No. 10. The parties to it state their shared intention to explore the possibilities for a common approach to European funds or other international institutions for funding projects along that corridor. The agreement also governs the introduction of more effective border control as would facilitate the passage of freight trains.
The latter document will help with the storage and transportation of liquefied natural gas between the two countries. The purpose of its signing is to establish a framework for institutional cooperation that would determine the feasibility of future infrastructure projects involving the construction of river port facilities necessary for the conveyance of liquefied natural gas along the river Danube, in the context of the announced development of a natural gas interconnector between Bulgaria and Serbia.
The Minister of Labor and Social Policy Biser Petkov and Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlović of Serbia signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of Bulgaria and the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy of Serbia. The document envisions that the two institutions would deepen the exchange of experience and good practices in the sphere of labor, employment, the integration of people with disabilities, and early childhood development. Bulgaria and Serbia will cooperate also in improving the labor and social security legislation and the implementation of government policies for promoting the employment and vocational training of both employed and unemployed individuals.