By the end of this year, Serbia, as well as the European Union, will have to define the future of their trade relations with Great Britain, which officially left the EU on January 31st, the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia told Tanjug.
Representatives of line ministries are currently in talks with British officials, and the results of these talks are expected to be reached by the end of the year.
“We would have to sign some kind of a legal framework which would clearly define the rules of cooperation this or next year. This legal framework will depend on how the EU negotiates the technical details of the future trade and economic relations with Great Britain develop,” says the adviser to the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, Mihajlo Vesovic.
Serbia has a free trade agreement with the EU through the Stabilization and Association Process.
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Great Britain could still use the customs tariffs which were in effect while it was a member of the EU by the end of 2020, but businesses want to know what happens afterwards and whether the country would conclude new free trade agreements with individual countries, including Serbia.
The trade conditions for Serbian companies which do business with Great Britain will not change by the end of the year, the Chamber says.
In the past several years, the trade between Serbia and Great Britain has been growing, and the latest available data from November 2019, put the surplus on the Serbian side, amounting to EUR 88 million.
The future of trade relations between Serbia and the United Kingdom, said Vesovic, should be viewed in the context of regional initiatives in the Western Balkans and the common regional market which has over 20 million inhabitants.
The UK, on the other hand, has a population of 65 million and is a large market with strong potential. Despite Brexit, it remains one of the most attractive markets in Europe.
The value of the trade between Serbia and the United Kingdom amounted to over 1.3 billion EUR, ending in November 2019, of which trade in services amounted to 826 million EUR. The United Kingdom is the second-largest external trade partner of Serbia, in terms of export of services, after Germany.
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