Belgrad, 12. September 2003 Press release

Ferrero-Waldner in Belgrade: Opening of a Serbian/Austrian "Business Council"

12.09.2003

Belgrade, 12 September 2003 - "My visit to Belgrade is to highlight the importance of the relations between Serbia and Montenegro and Austria once again," Ferrero-Waldner said on the occasion of her short visit to Belgrade today.

"In the foreground of her visit is the inauguration of a "Business Council" jointly set up by the Austrian and Serbian Chambers of Commerce, which is intended to take the role of a catalyst for dynamic and close economic cooperation. The Council provides a forum for Austrian companies interested in making investments in Serbia and Montenegro to discuss concrete project proposals directly with government representatives from Serbia and Montenegro," the Austrian Foreign Minister continued.

A further focal point of the Foreign Minister’s visit is the project SHELTER established within the context of the Austrian Eastern European Cooperation for the protection and care of victims of trafficking in human beings. "I consider this project of extraordinary importance because it offers refuge as well as medical and psychological assistance for women who have become victims of trafficking in human beings," Ferrero-Waldner emphasised.

Further topics of today’s working meetings in Belgrade are the safety situation in Kosovo, the establishment of closer ties between Serbia and Montenegro and the European Union, the cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague (ICTY) as well as the future developments of the Stability Pact for South East Europe.