The Serbian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Rasim Ljajic, said that Serbia suffered 461 million euro worth of damages since Kosovo introduced the tax on Serbian goods fourteen months ago.
Ljajic also said that the consequences for businesses which cooperated with businesses in Kosovo would be long-term because the question remains when they will be able to return to the Kosovo market even when the tax was abolished.
He added that importers from Kosovo are already paying more expensive wheat because they cannot find substitutes for some goods from Serbia, but that other countries in the region are using taxes and the blockade on Serbian goods to sell their goods to Kosovo and increase their exports.
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The Minister underlined that the situation will remain difficult even if Pristina abolishes taxes and keeps in place other measures, one of them being the so-called reciprocity. Pristina’s requirement for Serbian companies to write the Republic of Kosovo on invoices would result in many Serbian businesspeople refusing to sing on those invoices which, in turn, means that the customs will not allow such goods to leave Serbia.
Ljajic went on to say that Serbia was ready to remove all barriers and wanted free trade while praising the plans to restore rail and air routes. However, he also said that there would be no progress without the abolition of the tax.
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