Serbia Eyes Weapons Sales to Pakistan, Possible Free-Trade Deal

Serbia and Pakistan are considering defense cooperation, including possible export of ammunition, armored vehicles and assault rifles to the Asian country.

Serbia has been trying since 2009 to arrange such sales and an agreement may be reached after a visit by Pakistani Defense Minister Syed Naveed Qamar to several defense producers in the Balkan country, Serbia’s Defense Minister Aleksandar Vucic told reporters in Belgrade today after meeting with Qamar.

The Balkan country, which is going through its second recession in three years, is looking for new markets for its arms industry. Serbia’s arms exports fell by at least a fifth last year to less than $200 million as sales to Libya stopped after the uprising that ousted longtime leader Muammar Qaddafi.

Serbia has eight state-owned military plants including rifle maker Zastava Oruzje AD and aircraft producer Utva, which sell mostly to countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and also to the U.S.

Qamar said Pakistan may also consider a free trade agreement with Serbia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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