Lusaka, Wednesday, March 1, 2017: The Charge d'Affaires a.i of the Republic of Serbia Mr Vladimir Odavic has been accredited as the special representative of his country to COMESA. This follows his presentation of his letter of accreditation to the COMESA Secretary General Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya.

Mr Odavic said his country was keen to become an active partner in the regional integration programmes that COMESA was spearheading.

"Serbia would like to reiterate its interest in the regional trading block whose activities and achievements in promoting economic integration are praiseworthy. COMESA's accomplishments thus far in promoting economic integration, increased trade and investments within the region and with the rest of the world are impressive," the accreditation letter stated.

Mr Odavic cited the construction industry and agriculture as the main area areas of interest for his government citing past projects undertaken by Serbian companies in a number of COMESA countries including host country Zambia.

In accepting the credentials, the Secretary General observed that infrastructure development in the region was inadequate and cited housing backlog as a critically deficient sector.

"What we need are the appropriate technologies that take into account the level of incomes of the local population," Mr Ngwenya said. "We will work with you to see how we can learn from Serbia and further explore opportunities for knowledge transfer especially on agriculture development," he said.

Mr Ngwenya invited Mr Odavic to present specific proposals on the possible areas of cooperation with COMESA. He said: "COMESA looks forward to an enduring relationship with Serbia in addressing the social and economic challenges in the region."