Serbian government delegation visits US

A Serbian government delegation is on a working visit to the United States of America from today till April 16. They will meet with officials of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the US State Department, as well as with representatives of large American banks and companies. It is the Serbian government’s position that through the support of these groups and the USAID project on boosting the Serbian economy’s competitiveness, Serbia will prove its determination on the course of economic reforms and revival of the national economy.

The delegation, comprising Minister of Finance and Economy Bozidar Djelic, Minister of Economy and Privatisation Aleksandar Vlahovic, Minister of Energy and Mining Kori Udovicki and Minister of International Economic Relations Goran Pitic, will visit Washington, New York and Boston.

The purpose of the visit is to gain US support for the Serbian government’s efforts to fight organised crime and continue its economic and political reforms. The successful completion of these reforms will give rise to more jobs, better living standards and a healthy society.

The government also wants to gain support for boosting the economy’s competitiveness in not only regional, but in world markets as well. The delegation will meet with Allan Larson, the US undersecretary for economic, business and agricultural affairs and special advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell.

They will also meet with representatives of the IMF, World Bank and US government agencies, including:
– The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) – association founded in 1959, at the initiative of the White House. It focuses on promoting US business interests internationally
– The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) – a self-sustaining US government agency whose mission is to help US private companies foster economic development in the markets of transition countries
– The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) – an agency that provides loans, guarantees and credit insurance of American companies abroad.

The delegation will also meet with world’s leading investment banks such as JP Morgan and Citibank, as well as Alico (American Life Insurance Company), a member company of American International Group.

In Boston, the Serbian delegation will meet Harvard University professor Michael Porter, the world’s leading expert in boosting competitiveness, and hold a panel discussion with students from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In New York, the delegation will give interviews to CNBC and Bloomberg financial news agencies, as well as CNN and Forbes magazine.

Members of the recently formed National Council for Competitiveness, and representatives of Serbia’s private and civil sectors will also visit the US, within a USAID-sponsored project.