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Monday, 20 August 2012
Page: 9260

Australia-Serbia Relations

Debate resumed on the motion by Mr Hayes:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) there are well over 100,000 people of Serbian origin currently living in Australia, with approximately five per cent in the electoral division of Fowler;

(b) the Australian Federal Police and Serbian Police recently signed an agreement to cooperate on transnational crime including money laundering and drug trafficking, which is an example of the growing strength of Australia's bilateral relationship with the Republic of Serbia;

(c) the Republic of Serbia recently gained European Union candidate status which suggests an increased potential for future economic cooperation and provides an opportunity for large-scale investment from Australia and a strong cultural and educational exchange;

(d) in 2011, the trade between our two countries increased by 23.8 per cent; and

(e) since March 2012, Serbia has been awarded the preferential status under Australian Customs Act 1901, which has the potential to further increase the trade relations; and

(2) recognises:

(a) that significant progress has been made in Serbia and other countries in the region that participated in the devastating civil war, in moving away from conflict and towards reconciliation and cooperation; and

(b) the great economic, social and cultural contribution of the Serbian people to the vibrancy of our multicultural society.