On 22 February, State Secretary in the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) Michael Ambühl and Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic, who is responsible for European integration, signed a MoU on Swiss assistance to Serbia in intellectual property matters. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) will make available the sum of CHF 780,000 to improve the legal framework, to strengthen the capacity of the Serbian intellectual property office and to promote geographical indications and "appellations d’origine contrôlée" – controlled terms of origin - in Serbia.
These efforts are intended to boost Serbian exports and to make Serbia more attractive to investors, including Swiss ones. As Deputy Prime Minister Djelic said in a press statement after the signing of the MoU, Switzerland is one of the leading donors to Serbia. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and SECO have invested more than CHF 300 million in Serbia since 1991.
The visit by State Secretary Michael Ambühl was part of the regular political consultations between Switzerland and Serbia. These consultations have enabled both countries to re-affirm the excellence of their relations. Switzerland's support for Serbia's integration in Europe, cooperation within international financial institutions and bilateral relations were among the subjects discussed. Secretary of State Ambühl was received by his Serbian counterpart Mirko Stefanovic, by the Governor of the Serbian National Bank Radovan Jelasic and by the State Secretary of the Finance Ministry Slobodan Ilic.
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