Reestablishment of the commercial relations between USA and FRY
The competent Committee of the American Congress approved the Law allowing the United States of America to reestablish normal commercial relations with the FR of Yugoslavia, for the first time in the past decade. The Committee, working within the House of representatives of the Congress, approved the decision, adopting a series of legal regulations, upon the initiative of Mr. George W. Bush Administration. The Law will be fully in effect only once adopted by the Houses of the Congress and signed by the American President.
Asked on “if” and “when” it should be expectable, the Serbian Minister of Finance and Economy, Mr. Bozidar Djelic said:
– We have been working on that issue for months already – this is one of the two unsolved economic issues between USA and Serbia, Yugoslavia in other terms, the issue of normal commercial relations on the one hand, and “frozen” funds issue on the other hand. Regarding the normal commercial relations, we have been working for months, here at the Ministry together with our colleagues in Washington on finding a sponsor – you know that for everything you want to accomplish in the American Congress, you have to find a sponsor, in other terms a congressman that will make the suggestion – which is done, and the appropriate text has been prepared and introduced to the Congress committees procedure. This text exists, as well as the one who will defend it before the Congress. However, being taught to be cautious, as well as because of the complexity of the solution making process in the American Congress, even some “tactless” declarations by certain presidential elections candidates can complicate some relations between the USA and FRY, as the Foreign Minister Svilanovic confirmed, after his visit there, a few days ago. So, I wouldn’t prognosticate, but days or weeks ago only, we were so close to solve both of the mentioned issues.
Meanwhile, the delegation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia will use the three-day visit to America to meet with more than 60 businessmen interested to invest and do business with Serbia. A working lunch with the businessmen was organized by the International Economical Consultative Council, presided by Mr. Brian Malrooney, the former Canadian Prime Minister. Besides the Prime Minister, Mr. Djindjic, the delegation consisted also of the Minister of International Economic Relations, Mr. Goran Pitic, and the Minister of Economy and Privatization, Mr. Aleksandar Vlahovic. Minister Vlahovic declared to expect the presence of representatives of a few big American corporations.
– We have already had investments by big American corporations, but we missed those opportunities.
Let’s mention “General Motors” that invested in Kikinda, or “McDonald’s” that had important investments here, long before being interested in other eastern European countries, etc. I do not think that this is important, but the importance is to be given to open a larger front of investment interest for the American economy. The big corporations will have their own strategic interests by investing – they will invest once some industries put on sale, those of their interest, and our interest is to improve the general level of economic activity, therefore we cannot be too choosy. We have to generally attract the biggest investment interest possible, to achieve an economic activity start up on every different level, especially the micro-economic one, said Mr. Milan Kovacevic, economist and foreign investors consultant.