Belgrade - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (PKS) has submitted an initiative to the commercial representative office of the Russian Federation in Serbia for a shipping line to be introduced between the two countries, PKS official Milos Kosanic said on Thursday. Speaking at the Constantza Port Day conference in Belgrade, he said that the line should be based on a partnership in which Serbian shipping companies would transport goods to the Romanian port of Constantza, where it would be taken over by their Russian colleagues. “Such a form of transport would be cheaper than road transport,” he said.
He cited the example of the embargo on transit of Serbian pork to the European Union, and said that the Danube is an international waterway where there are no such bans. Constantza Port Director Valeriu Nicolae Ionescu said that the Romanian port provides Serbia with a cheaper, alternative form of transport that does not harm the environment and saves much time in the transport of goods from the Far East to central and eastern European countries.
Over the first seven months of this year, the transport of goods between the Constantza Port and Serbia has totalled 2.5 million tons, he said. Grains account for most of the total transport volume - over 1.1 million tons - and are followed by iron ore and waste, which accounts for 725,000 tons.
The Romanian port and the Port of Pancevo on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding, which represents cooperation in maritime transport and a joint approach to EU projects aimed at developing port activities in Romania and Serbia. Port of Pancevo General Director Sanja Djurisic told Tanjug that the memorandum opens the door to new development projects, as well as to taking the Port of Pancevo a step closer to EU integration in cooperation with Constantza.
Shipping on the Danube via Constantza can definitely be an opportunity to boost Serbian exports to Russia, she said. “This form of transport is certainly ten to 20% more favourable compared to railway or road transport,” she said. Djurisic added that a strategy of water transport for the period between 2015 and 2025 is under preparation to address strategic issues and potentially also help boost transport on the Danube.