Indo Serb relations

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by OrangeFlorian, May 8, 2016.

  1. OrangeFlorian

    OrangeFlorian (((Cl0r0x [email protected])))

    Apr 29, 2016
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    Soviet Canuckistan
    India-Serbia Relations


    India and Serbia have enjoyed warm and historical relations as co-founders of the Non-Aligned Movement. The relations deepened over the years with regular high level visits till the end of 1980s. Once a vibrant relationship, the ties became muted after the collapse of former Yugoslavia, the imposition of UN Sanctions and NATO bombing. The Visits resumed in last decade, but the frequency was markedly reduced with no exchange of HOG/HOS level visit for more than 25 years. Serbia, however, remains a pro-India country.

    The bilateral relationship was energized with the visit of Smt. Preneet Kaur, formerly Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs in November 2013 when the Serbian establishment signalled its intention to reconnect with its traditional ally. MOS(PK) held meetings with Serbian President, Prime Minister, First Dy. Prime Minister, Speaker of National Assembly, Foreign Minister and Minister of Economy. Both sides reiterated support to each other on core issues of Kosovo and expansion of the UN Security Council. Two Agreements: India-Serbia Agreement on Serbia’s Accession to WTO and the 99 year lease of Embassy Residence were signed during the visit.

    The new governments of both Serbia and India rapidly established contacts after the respective national elections in March/May 2014; PM Narendra Modi and PM Aleksander Vucic of Serbia exchanged warm messages with the commitment to renew the historic friendship. In a gesture of goodwill, Government of India provided immediate financial relief assistance of USD 100,000 consequent to the catastrophic floods in Serbia in May 2014. Serbia expressed its condolences for the floods in J&K.

    Existing Agreements/MOUs provide the necessary framework to give momentum to bilateral relations and identify areas for further enhancement of cooperation. These include BIPA, DTAC, Air Services Agreement, Trade Agreement, Agreement on Cooperation in S&T, Agreement on Cooperation in Agriculture & Allied Sectors, Tourism, Visa Exemption, Foreign Service Training, Institutional mechanisms such as Foreign Office Consultations and Joint Economic Committee etc. Additionally, Agreements on Cooperation in the fields of Culture, Arts, Sports, Youth and Mass Media and MOU on Cooperation in Traditional Medicines have been finalized. Bilateral MOU on cooperation in ICT and Defence are under negotiation.

    Cooperation in Multilateral Affairs

    Serbia and India have a good track record of cooperation in multilateral fora in terms of mutual support and reciprocal arrangements for elections in multilateral bodies. Serbia supported India's candidature for non-permanent seat in the Security Council in 2011-12 and India has extended support to Serbia on the Kosovo issue whenever the matter came up at the United Nations. India supported candidature of Mr. Vuk Jeremik, former Serbian Foreign Minister, as President of UNGA in 2012-13 and Serbia’s candidature for ECOSOC for the term 2014-16. Serbia supported the Indian candidate for re-election to the International Law Commission (2012-16), for the elections in ICAO and for the position in the UN Board of Auditors. Serbia also supported India for the election to the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural heritage for the term 2014-2018, for the election to the Human Rights Council for 2015-17 and for the re-election to Council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Region E (Asia and Australia) for the term 2015-18.

    ITEC Cooperation

    Over the past few years, ITEC Programme has emerged as an important pillar of bilateral relations. The number of ITEC scholars from Serbia has increased to 35 per year. More than 100 Serbian ITEC-trainees have undergone training in India in various sectors like IT, communications, English language, SMEs, management, finance, textiles, rural development, environment etc.


    The Serbian Defence industry led by state run company YugoImport SDPR and Sloboda arms factory participated in Defexpo in February 2014 in New Delhi followed by the visit of defence delegations from Serbia to India and vice versa to discuss bilateral defence cooperation including technology transfer, purchase of ammunition, servicing of aircraft engines, and for exploring prospects of joint defence production.

    Commercial Relations

    The Balkan wars of 1990s and the break-up of the SFRY resulted in the disruption of the trade and economic cooperation which was nearly US$ 500 million in the late 1980s. Bilateral Trade has been picking up slowly over the last couple of years reaching US$ 145.6 million in 2015. Main items of exports from India are pharma & chemical products, products of iron & steel, cotton yarn & textile fabrics, home furnishings and readymade garments, coffee, sesame seeds and food products, industrial machinery. Main items of export from Serbia are cigarettes/ tobacco, organic chemicals, industrial machinery, office machinery and plastic products.

    Serbia is the epicentre of the Balkans and has positioned itself as the gateway to about one billion consumers of Europe and CIS due to its FTAs with Russia (only such country outside CIS to do so), EU, CEFTA, EFTA, Turkey, Kazakhstan & Belarus. Serbia is now expecting faster reforms, accelerated development and eventual accession to EU by 2020. Mission vigorously encourages Indian companies to trade with and invest in Serbia. Mission also actively participates in the commercial / business events in Serbia to bring awareness in Serbian Market of India's economic progress and showcase its advances in various sectors.

    Bilateral Trade (in US$ Million)








    India's exports







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    Recent developments

    (a) Trade Delegations from India:

    Indian RITES delegation visits Serbia: A delegation of RITES Ltd led by Mr. S. K. Luthra, Executive Director visited Serbia from 7-9 April, 2015 to explore possibilities of cooperation with Serbian Railways in its developmental projects. The RITES delegation met with the Serbian Ministry of Construction, Infrastructure and Traffic, during which both sides discussed the possibilities of involving RITES in Serbian infrastructure and road projects. Presentations were also organized with Energoproject, Mostogradnja, ZGOP, Serbian Traffic Institute and PE Serbian Roads, for possible cooperation. The delegation made on-site visits to railway lines on Belgrade-Novi Sad-Subotica and Belgrade-Ruma-Sid routes. The delegation also visited the factory ZELVOZ in the city of Smederevo and another factory for production of rail vehicles in the city of Kraljevo. Meetings were also held with the municipal administrations of these two cities, which presented the rail developmental plans. The delegation also met with Mr. Predrag Kovacevic, in charge of PPP projects of the Belgrade City Council.

    Shri Ramji Natrajan, Chairman & MD of Travel Masters India Pvt Ltd visited Serbia in April 2015 to scout locations for Bollywood film productions.

    International Agricultural Fair 2015, Novi Sad: Indian agri-machinery companies participated in Novi Sad International Fair of Agriculture (May 2015). Indian tractor manufacturers Mahindra & Mahindra (represented by Agropanonka), Sonalika (represented by FPM Agromehanika) and TAFE (represented by Amalgamations Group) were some of the prominent companies. In addition, Indian irrigation equipment manufacturer Jain Irrigation Ltd displayed its products through local company Agrogas. Another Indian company Shreeji Protein displayed food products such as dehydrated onion & garlic, peanuts, dry fruits and spices.

    Indian film production company PVP Cinemas visited Serbia to shoot the remake of French film 'Untouchables' in cooperation with Serbian 'Clockwork Production'

    (b) Trade Delegations from Serbia:

    Aero India: Aerospace company Glotec Ltd. participated in Aero India 2015 held from 18-22 February 2015 at Bangaluru.

    Mr. Jugoslav Petkovic, Director-General of YugoImport, Serbian military industrial complex visited India in April 2015 for site visits and discussions with Indian defence industry representatives, including from TATA Power, for collaboration in joint defence production under the 'Make-in-India' initiative.

    Prominent Serbian Film Producer & Director Goran Paskaljevic completed in June 2015 the shooting of the first ever Indo-Serbian co-production film 'Dev Bhoomi' in the backdrop of Uttrakhand.

    A 2-member technical team from the Serbian R&D Company Sentronis AD based in Nis visited India from 16-20 Nov at the invitation of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for installation and commissioning of 3D magnetic field mapping system purchased by BARC from Sentronis AD.

    A delegation from Serbian defence major Yogoimport visited India from 24-26 Nov 2015 at the invitation of Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad in connection with refurbishment work of vintage KVADRAT missiles.

    Gujarat International Handloom & Handicraft Meet, "GURJARI" 2015: Pozarevac based fashion company Luna visited the first Gujarat International Handloom & Handicraft Meet, "GURJARI" 2015 organized by the Handloom and Handicraft Development Corporation Ltd. (GSHHDC), Government of Gujarat and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) from 27 February - 1 March 2015 at Ahmedabad, India.

    4th India International Handwoven Fair 2015: Serbian companies Ethno Network, Krunateks, and Silver Bell visited the 4th India International Handwoven Fair (IIHF) 2015 organised by the Handloom Export Promotion Council from the 11-13 of March 2015 at the Chennai Trade Center, Chennai, India.

    GET-INDIA 2015 Seminar: Ms Ivana Brkovic of M/s Fly Travel, Belgrade visited Delhi to participate in the GET-INDIA 2015 Seminar held from 23-25 April 2015 under the auspices of the M/o Tourism

    Indian Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Show 2015: Belgrade based Atelier Arsic visited the 8th Indian Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Show (IFJAS) 2015 organized by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) from the 10-12 July, 2015 at India Expo Centre, New Delhi - Greater Noida Expressway.

    5th edition of India Engineering Sourcing Show (IESS) 2015: Representatives of Serbian companies Sanvi, Trstenik and FPM Agromehanika, Boljevac visited the 5th edition of India Engineering Sourcing Show (IESS) 2015 organized by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India along with EEPC India (formerly Engineering Export Promotion Council) from 24-26th November 2015 in Mumbai, India.

    A delegation from the National Petroleum Committee of Serbia consisting of Prof. Petar Skundric, Chairman and Prof. Goran Radosavljevic, General Secretary participated in the World Petroleum Council (WPC) Meetings held at New Delhi from 26-30 Oct.

    Indian Investments

    • An Indian real estate company, Embassy Group from Bangalore, has developed an IT Park in the town of Indjija near Belgrade. It is an ambitious project and the first phase with an investment of US$20 million is ready for commissioning. The IT Park has the potential to become an IT hub in Serbia and the region.
    • New Investments by CarGo: The ULJK Group of India has invested in 32.5% of shares in a new joint venture "CarGo Technologies" which won the best start up in Serbia award from Pioneers of the Balkans. CarGo is fully operational Ride Sharing company in Belgrade. It is an urban transportation solution which provides taxi's to riders. The company is in fifth month of operation in Serbia and is gaining great popularity across Belgrade.
    • The Serbian company "Agropanonka MTZ Finke" in collaboration with Mahindra & Mahindra opened an assembly line for Mahindra tractors in Novi Sad. The plan is to annually assemble 1,000 Mahindra tractors.
    • International Tractors Limited (Sonalika Group) has started assembly line of tractors under the brand SOLIS, in the Serbian city of Boljevac. The two sides have planned to assemble 200 tractors annually by 2015 and to invest USD 14 million in order to assemble 1000 tractors annually by 2017 to cover the regional markets.
    • Indian companies Amalgamations Limited (TAFE), Ranbaxy, Himalaya Herbals and Panacea Biotech have local representatives in Serbia.
    Cultural Relations

    Serbia is a culturally vibrant country and Serbians value people to people contacts. There is a lot of interest in Indian culture and Indian TV serials like Ballika Badhu and Uttaran shown on local TV are very popular. Mission has been taking initiatives to enhance and deepen its activities both in the traditional fields of cultural promotions, but also exploring innovative ideas in expanding its outreach. With the Embassy’s initiative, an Indian Cultural Centre has been established harnessing energies of local India-centric organisations such as the Yoga federation of Serbia, Yoga Academy, Yoga TV etc. to take the cultural diplomacy to the next level. There is a tremendous interest in Yoga in Serbia with almost all streams of Yoga being taught and practiced. Mission with the assistance of MEA XP Division has part funded a book of Yoga in Serbian “Yoga - Mind and Body” by Serbian Professor Dusan Pajin.

    There is a lot of interest in Serbia on Indian leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore visited Serbia in 1926 and gave two lectures in the Belgrade University. New Belgrade has two streets named after Mahatma Gandhi and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru with the busts of the two leaders.

    The Embassy of India's initiatives in public diplomacy included first ever participation in Belgrade International Book Fair (National Book Trust), Belgrade International Tourism Fair (Incredible India), Belgrade Fashion Week (Manish Arora), Belgrade Design Week (Satya Sheel of Metro Valley), International Yoga Festival, screening of film ''Barfi" by Film Street and Tamhane's maiden film 'Court' at the Auteur Film Festival. ICCR shows were equally well received including Rujuta Soman's Kathak, Vinod Bhatt's String Puppet, Papon Mahanta's fusion music, Rta Kapur Chisti's curated sari exhibition & Fashion Show and digital art works of Tagore. IndiaSerbia photography contest launched through the social media was popular.

    Incredible India was promoted through Tourism Fairs, LED billboards / external bus branding, Tour Operators' Conference and visits of journalists. The period showed a 15% increase in the number of Serbian visitors to India including for tourism. Sporting links were strengthened with the visit of Grandmaster Pentala Harikrishna for Chess Simul. In a significant move, Serbia allowed visa-free entry upto 90 days for Indian (& other) passports holding Schengen/UK & USA visas.

    Indian Community

    There are no PIOs of note in Serbia.

    Links to useful reads:
    Embassy of India, Belgrade :
    Monthly India Newsletter :
    ITEC Publication :
    India Serbia Photography Contest:
    The Inventor - The Story of Tesla :
    Special Supplement with Cord :
    Spl. Suppl. with Privredni Pregled:
    Special Supplement with Politica :

    Jan 2015
    Bahamut and Yusuf like this.
  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Mar 24, 2009
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    Thanks for posting this. What's happening with relations with smaller countries is lost usually

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Vishwarupa likes this.
  4. Bahamut

    Bahamut Senior Member Senior Member

    Oct 31, 2015
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    somewhere in space time
    Serb were one of the most advance in engineering industry at one at time before NATO decide to bomb the shit out of them for no reason what soever .
  5. OrangeFlorian

    OrangeFlorian (((Cl0r0x [email protected])))

    Apr 29, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Soviet Canuckistan
    Is there a reason why we can't try to improve our relations with Eastern Europe or is it just not profitable? They would definitely support us on the kashmir issue.
    Last edited: May 8, 2016

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