The Government of Serbia and Dubai Port World from the United Arab Emirates have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation in Belgrade stipulating implementation of the projects of development of river ports in Serbia.
The Memorandum was signed by the Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlovic with the President of Dubai Port World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.
Following the signing, Mihajlovic said that, after 40 years, the state would again start investing in the construction of river ports, with investments worth more than 200 million euros, and that Dubai Port World could start constructing a new port in Serbia next year.
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Mihajlovic went on to say that a feasibility study would determine whether their investment would be make in Novi Sad, Smederevo or Belgrade.
Water transport was so far left aside, while investments were directed towards railways and roads,” Mihajlovic admitted in her speech after the signing, explaining that recent changes in legislation encouraged investments in the area of port infrastructure and acceleration of river transport.
“Our country is marking an increase of river transport, but it needs investments into the development of ports and intermodal terminals in order to achieve even more significant results in this area,” she said, adding that the transport project will additionally advance the ascending path of the relations between Serbia and the UAE.
Mihajlovic also revealed that the company also expressed interest in the privatization of the state-owned Port of Novi Sad as well as participation in other projects in Serbia.
Ahmed bin Sulayem said that his company is interested in operating the river transport of Serbian import and export, as well as “connecting Serbia with the rest of the world by water transport”.
Explaining that his company runs 79 marine and inland terminals in 40 countries on six continents, with last year’s income exceeding 4 billion U.S. dollars, he confirmed the interest of the company in the privatization of the Port of Novi Sad which is the only remaining majority state-owned port that hasn’t been privatized as yet.
Bin Sulayem also said that that would be a key moment for deepening relations between governments of Serbia and the UAE.
This post is also available in: Italiano