With the presence of almost a hundred participants in an extremely affirmative atmosphere, the launch of the Irish-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, headed by Frank Hannigan, was made official, at the webinar held on 26 May 2021. The keynote speakers were H.E. Aleksandra Joksimović, Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to Ireland on a non-residential basis, and H.E. Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland.
In her presentation, Ambassador Joksimović pointed out the good bilateral relations between the Republic of Serbia and Ireland, which was also stated in the recent conversation between Ministers Selaković and Coveney. She conveyed the expectation that the newly established Chamber of Commerce will significantly contribute to the improvement of trade and investment potentials of the two countries. Ambassador Joksimović underlined the strong commitment of the Republic of Serbia to EU integration, thanking for the continuous support that Ireland provides us in this process. She informed in details about the advantages of doing business in Serbia and the efforts that the Government of the Republic of Serbia is making to make the business environment even more attractive for foreign investments. She pointed out the stable political environment, commitment to reforms in the field of rule of law, successes in the field of vaccination and preservation of the economy during the pandemic, which provides a clear signal to Irish businessmen about the possibilities and advantages of investing in Serbia. As an additional advantage, she singled out the orientation of our economy towards the EU market, but also through free trade agreements concluded with other important partners.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney welcomed the launch of the Irish-Serbian Chamber of Commerce as a step towards further strengthening friendship and cooperation between the two countries, which was defined as a common goal in a recent conversation with Minister Selaković. He praised the efforts of Ambassador Joksimović, as well as all others who contributed to the creation of the Chamber. He expressed the expectation that the Chamber will contribute to the improvement of trade relations, but also to the strengthening of direct ties between the two nations. He pointed out the importance that Serbia has due to its geographical position and underlined the potential of our country in the sectors of agriculture, communications and information technologies. He noted the impressive results that Serbia has achieved in terms of vaccination, as well as when it comes to reducing the harmful effects of the pandemic on its economy. He especially singled out the solidarity that Serbia has shown towards its neighbours in the context of overcoming the pandemic, reminding that the EU, for its part, has also contributed. He underlined that the Republic of Serbia and the WB region are part of Europe and that as such they should become part of the EU. He described the integration of the WB into the EU as a strategic goal that is in the common interest of both the region and the EU. In that sense, Ireland emphasises the need for new dynamics in the field of EU integration and expects that the new methodology will accelerate Serbia’s European path. He underlined that Serbia can count on all the help of Ireland in that process.
During the discussions, all participants emphasised the positive experiences of Irish companies already operating in Serbia, with an invitation to others to use the potential of doing business on the Serbian market, which is one of the key tasks of the Irish-Serbian Chamber of Commerce.