External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today held discussions with her Serbian counterpart Ivica Davic to bolster cooperation in key areas of trade, defence, and science and technology.
The two ministers discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of common interest.
Dacic's visit comes after last year's visit of the Serbian Prime Minister to India in January 2017.
"EAM @SushmaSwaraj & Serbian Foreign Minister Dacic had good discussion on expanding cooperation in trade and investment, agriculture, food processing, pharma, S & T, IT, defence, tourism, civil aviation, education & culture, and exchanged views on regional and global issues.
"Expanding a close and historic relationship! EAM @SushmaSwaraj welcomes Ivica Davic, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of #Serbia to India. The two countries are celebrating 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations," External Affairs Minister Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
An agreement on cooperation in the field of culture, sports, youth and mass media was signed by the two ministers, a statement by the External Affairs Ministry.
In a lecture at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), Davic said Serbia can learn a lot from initiatives such as Make in India, Start Up India, Smart Cities and Skill India.
He said several Indian companies have invested in the areas of Information Technology, agricultural machinery and vehicles.
Indian firms can take advantage of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Serbia has with Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakshtan and Turkey, he said.
Increasing economic activities is in mutual interest of both countries.
India and Serbia enjoy a close and historic relationship. Bilateral trade between India and Serbia has increased substantially in recent years.
According to official figures, bilateral trade between the two countries was at USD 157.1 million during January to October 2017, registering an increase of 32.2 per cent as compared to January-October 2016.
Dacic said that Serbia had eased visa norms for India since September last year. It had abolished visas for visiting Indian nationals, while India extended e-Visa facility to Serbian nationals.
Stating that Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru are popular personalities in Serbia, he pointed out that Belgrade has streets named after these two leaders.
"Last night I had a meeting with Tara Gandhi, the grand-daughter of Mahatma Gandhi, and it is a breaking news in Serbia today," he said referring to the warmth between the people of the two countries.
Responding to a question on Serbia's joining of the European Union, Dacic said geographically, Serbia belongs to Europe and it is surrounded by the European Union.
"It opens up the possibilities for Serbia, primarily for economic development," he said.
Dacic, however, said that Serbia would like to become a member of the European Union but, "not to the detriment of its national interests and not to the detriment" of its "good relations with friendly countries".
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)