Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Li Manchang said that Serbia used the opportunity to improve cooperation with China announcing that the total volume of Chinese investment in the current and announced projects will be 10 billion dollars.

“Some other countries in the Balkans have shown ‘envy’ towards Serbia, which took the opportunity to promote cooperation with China. I think that Serbia has taken the lead in this regard and that other European countries may follow this path,” Li said in an interview for “China Daily”.

It is, as he says, mainly due to the fact that the Serbian leadership understood the importance of the initiative “Belt and road”, and the two sides in 2015 signed a memorandum of cooperation.

Li pointed out that the Prime Minister and newly elected President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic and the current head of state, Tomislav Nikolic repeatedly stressed that the initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping 2013 will help the world economy out of stagnation after the global financial crisis in 2008.

“So, a leading Serbian leaders have called for their country to take advantage of the opportunity to find synergies with the initiative,” said Li.

Recalling that the bridge from Zemun to Borca over the Danube is the first Chinese bridge in Europe, Ambassador Li said that the reconstruction of the railway line between Belgrade and Budapest will be the first that the Chinese will work on on the old continent.

This project will start, as is expected, during the year because the European Commission has finished checking the loan agreement.

According to Li, the Chinese companies are currently involved in the construction of highway and power plant in Serbia and the Belgrade bypass.

They are also working to improve facilities for the treatment of waste water and district heating network, a few Chinese companies are competing to win a contract on the project of building the plant, and the total value of the investment is 900 million dollars.

After signing a memorandum of cooperation, the two sides hope to sign a contract until the end of the year so the work could begin the next year, said Li.

China Daily reports words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic, Vucic will lead the Serbian delegation at the Forum on International Cooperation “Belt and road” to be held in June in Beijing, saying that it testifies to the importance that our country attaches to the initiative of a global character.

Dacic said that Serbia wants as closer connection with the world and that in this context Serbia wants even greater momentum of cooperation with China in terms of investment in infrastructure so Serbia could become an important regional transport hub, according to the Chinese list.