Serbia and India are issuing a set of stamps on 15th September 2018. India and Serbia (formerly Yugoslavia) have traditionally enjoyed deep friendship as co-founders of the Non-Aligned Movement. Despite the breakup of former Yugoslavia, the tradition of mutual support on issues of core interest continues. Serbia has consistently supported India in multilateral fora including India’s candidatures to various international organizations. Serbian leadership condemned the Uri terror attacks and expressed solidarity with India in the fight against terrorism. Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic visited India from 9-12 January, 2017 to attend the Vibrant Gujarat Summit (VGS) and held bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Modi. This was the first visit at this level from Belgrade in 30 years. Serbia is the epicentre of the Balkans and has positioned itself as the gateway to about one billion consumers of Europe and CIS due to its FTAs with Russia (the only such country outside CIS to do so), EU, CEFTA, EFTA, Turkey, Kazakhstan & Belarus. Serbia is now expecting accession to EU by 2020. Mission vigorously encourages Indian companies to trade with and invest in Serbia and vice versa.
Serbia is a culturally vibrant country and Serbians value people to people contacts. There is a lot of interest in Indian culture and Indian TV serials like ‘Ballika Badhu’, ‘Uttaran’ and ‘Na Aana Is Des Laado’ telecast locally are very popular. The Embassy has taken several initiatives for harnessing energies of local India-centric organisations to take the cultural diplomacy to the next level. The prominent Serbian Film Producer & Director Mr. Goran Paskaljevic, who was the honorary guest and President of the Jury at the 16th Mumbai Film Festival in October 2014, has recently shot the first ever Indo-Serbian film co-production ‘Dev Bhoomi’ (Land of the God), based on the theme of girl child education in the backdrop of Uttarakhand. There is a serious interest for Yoga in Serbia with almost all streams of Yoga being taught and practiced. The Ministry partly funded Serbian book “Yoga – Mind and Body” by an Indologist Professor Dusan Pajin. Yoga, Ayurveda and Homeopathy are recognized in Serbian law. Regular student exchanges have been taking place between the educational institutions in India and Serbia under the international Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Expertise (IAESTE). Since 2010, 40 Indian and 38 Serbian students have benefited from this programme.