China and Serbia signed a free trade agreement (FTA) in Beijing on Tuesday to boost bilateral trade and business ties, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
The FTA is the 22nd of its kind for China and the first one inked with a central or eastern European country, and it means that Serbia is now China’s 29th global free trade partner.
The ministry said the signing of the FTA is an important measure to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, as well as a significant achievement of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
The FTA negotiation was launched in April and was substantially completed in September.
The ministry said that through the FTA, China and Serbia will achieve high-standard mutual opening up, build a new institutional arrangement for bilateral economic and trade cooperation, create a more preferential, convenient, transparent and stable business environment for companies from the two countries, while injecting new impetus into the efforts to advance high-quality Belt and Road Initiative cooperation and deepen the China-Serbia comprehensive strategic partnership.
With the FTA now inked, the two sides will carry out their respective domestic procedures to promote its early implementation, the ministry added.