'Multimillion' Serbia deals

UAE to sign multimillion euro deals with Serbian government. Investments to be made in military, agriculture and development fields according to senior officials.

Serbia expects the UAE to sign investment deals worth hundreds of millions of dirhams, making the it one of its most important economic partners, Serbian government ministers said yesterday.

The UAE will sign a deal next week concerning Serbia's weapons industry worth about €100 million (Dh490m), said the defence minister and deputy prime minister, Aleksandar Vucic.

Speaking after a three-day visit by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Mr Vucic said two other defence contracts would follow by the end of the month.

"Serbia and the United Arab Emirates have agreed deals and investments that are so far the best we have ever achieved in bilateral relations with another country," Mr Vucic said. He added that the UAE was interested in the construction of an "exclusive building" on the location of the former army headquarters in Belgrade.

The Serbian finance minister, Mladjan Dinkic, told the Serbian daily Blic that he would sign a deal tomorrow with Abu Dhabi's Al Dahra agricultural company on a joint investment in eight Serbian farm cooperatives worth about €100m.

The Serbian news agency Beta said Al Dahra would become the 80 per cent majority owner of a Serbian agricultural conglomerate, which owns about 9,000 acres of land.

Mr Dinkic also said the UAE might invest in Serbia's JAT Technika aircraft maintenance company.

* With additional reporting by Reuters