The latest move was announced by the municipal authorities of Jagodina, a city located in Serbia’s central region, about 133km south of the country’s capital Belgrade. The value of the contract, signed in the presence of Li Manchang, the Chinese Ambassador to Serbia, and Mayor of Jagodina Dragan 'Palma' Markovic, was not disclosed.
Under the plan, in the first stage of its cooperation with Golden Sea Pearl, the Serbian company will supply about 50 tonnes (t) of poultry meat per month to customers in the Chinese market. Food Star plans to gradually double its capacity to some 50,000 head per month, Dragoslav Milisavljevic, the company’s owner, was quoted as saying in the statement.
Exports to China to rise
In the long-term, the Serbian meat business plans to export its entire production to the Chinese market, according to a company representative from Golden Sea Pearl, who was present at the official signing ceremony. Among others, Food Star will supply chicken legs, wings and livers to China.
In its statement, Jagodina’s municipal authorities said the latest move follows Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s official visit to China last September. During his visit, Vucic met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and took part in the Summer Davos Forum in Tianjin. As part of the bilateral talks, Jinping encouraged Chinese businessmen to invest in Serbian companies and establish closer cooperation with local players, according to the statement. Shortly after Vucic’s meeting with Jinping, Serbia resumed exports of beef to the Chinese market following a 30-year break.
“An opportunity was made possible, and it is up to us to benefit from the relations that Serbia has with Chinese,” said Markovic.
However, it is noteworthy that a major investment by a Chinese poultry meat producer in Serbia was announced earlier this year before Vucic’s visit to China. Qingdao Rongxing Foods Co has unveiled plans to build a logistics centre in Indjija, in the country’s northern region, as part of the firm’s efforts to expand its foothold in European markets. The facility is to be located on a land plot of some 90,000 sq m in Indjija’s north-eastern industrial zone.
The Chinese investor would be given preferential tax treatment for its project, as, under Serbian law, imports into and exports from the country’s free and industrial zones are not subject to value-added tax (VAT), customs and clearance.
Meanwhile, Golden Sea Pearl is already planning to increase its supply of Serbian poultry meat further. In addition to Food Star, the Chinese company is aiming to sign a contract with another local poultry meat producer, Agroziv, according to the statement.