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Serbia Marks National Day on Feb. 15, 2007
Serbian Ambassador to Seoul Zoran Veljic

Republic of Serbia celebrates its National Day on Feb. 15, 2007 because on that date in 1835, the first Serbian Constitution known as "Sretenjski Ustav" was adopted. It was a modern, European constitution which was written according to the constitutions of developed European countries of that time.

The adoption of First Serbian Constitution along with First Uprising against Ottoman Empire which begun on Feb. 14, 1804, are widely accepted as key-stones for creation of the modern Serbian state.

"Sretenjski Ustav" confirms the existing of deep roots to nowadays devotion of democratic Serbian government to integrate Serbia as a whole to modern and advanced Europe, where is its traditional place, in geopolitical and cultural sense.

After democratic changes in 2000, Serbia gained its political stability and begun very succesfull economic reforms, which made possible last year's economic growth to be 7%, and the value of foreign investments was four billion USD. With the development of the Balkan Free Trade Zone, this regional market will exceed 65 million people. For companies that seek to start or expand their businesses in this region.

Serbia is the place to be, being the only country outside of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) that enjoys a free trade agreement with the Russian Federation, offering a customs-free access to its market of 150 million people. Those advantages, together with its geographical position, qualified and the low cost labor, make Republic of Serbia a real competitive environment for investment

Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Seoul is organizing reception for the National day in circumstances of strenghtening political dialogue with the Republic of Korea, with whom it has friendly relations, without any open issues. Last year visits of Minister for international economic relations Mr. Parivodic to Seoul and Speaker of Korean Parlament Mr. Lim to Belgrade represented very important stimulus to development of bilateral relations, especially economic cooperation and investment.

Historical background

The first Serbian state was founded in 800s by the House of Vlastimirovic, evolving into the Serbian Kingdom and Empire under the House of Nemanjic in the Raska region in the 12th century. Its founder was Grand Zupan Stefan Nemanja, and in 1217, under Stefan the First Crowned, Serbia became independent state. Serbia as a medieval state was the most powerfull under Czar Stefan Dusan The Great, who proclaimed himself in 1346 as "The Czar of all Serbs and Greeks."

Ottoman Turcs had defeated Serbian feudal aristocracy in the famous Battle of Kosovo in 1389. Following the collapse of Serbian Empire in Battle of Kosovo, between 1459. and 1804., Serbia was under the Ottoman occupation. Two national uprisings, First uprising in 1804, under the command of Djordje Petrovic, called Black-Djordje, and Second uprising in 1815, led to autonomous Serbian principality. Its first Constitution Serbia gained on February 15, 1835, and it was internationaly recognized as a independent state in 1878 at the Congress of Berlin.

After coup d'etat in 1903, with assasinations of King Aleksandar Obrenovic and his wife Draga Masin, power was seized again by dinasty Karadjordjevic, descendants of "Black-Djordje." During 1912-13, Serbia was engaged in Balkans Wars and managed to recovery some of its teritories . But, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria at Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a South Slav unionist, led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia, and to the First World War. Eventually, Serbia won the war on the side of Triple Entente, giving its big human and material sacrifices.

In 1918, invested its souvereignity to the wider southslavic state, Serbia became a part of a bigger country namely Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians, renamed to Kindom of Yugoslavia, heading by Serbian dinasty Karadjordjevic. In Second World War, parts of Serbia were under occupation by Axis Powers, and its allies Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary and Albania, as well by pro-fascistic puppet-state named Independent State of Croatia. In 1945, Serbia was established as one of the federal units of the second Yugoslavia, the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, led by Josip Broz Tito, until his death in 1980.After the collapse of the second Yugoslavia in 1992, Serbia, together with Montenegro, was the part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was transformed in State Union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2003. After referendum of independence from State Union in Montenegro, after 88 years invested in sothslavic state, Republic of Serbia became independent again on June 5, 2006.

Facts about Republic of Serbia

Official name : The Republic of Serbia (independent country since June 5th 2006, when it separated from Montenegro)

Area: 88, 361 km2

Population: 8.500.000

Location: South East Europe, central part of the Balkan Peninsula. Serbia is situated in the intersection of Pan European Corridors Nr. 10 and Nr. & linking Europe and Asia.
Capital: Belgrade (population around 2.000.000)

Official language: Serbian (members of ethnic minorities are entitled to use their own language)

Main religion: Christian Orthodox (religion is practiced freely and many different religious institutions exist in Serbia)

Currency: Dinar (CSD), divided into 100 paras. Exchange rate: 1 EUR = 83 CSD and 1 USD = 66 CSD, according to National Bank of Serbia

Time Zone : West European time zone (GMT + 01:00)

Climate: Temperate continental, with gradual transition between the four seasons of the year. The average annual temperature is around 12 degrees

Total length of railway network: 3.619 km

Total length of roads: 42, 692 km (asphalt) and 24, 860 (concrete)

Agriculture land : 5.718.599 ha

ECONOMY Overview (for 2005.)

GDP (purchasing power parity) - $41.15 billion for 205.

GDP (real growth rate) : 5,9%

GDP (official exchange rate) : $19.19 billion for Serbia alone

GDP – per capita : $ 4.400

Labor force: 2.961 million

Inflation rate (consumer prices): Should not exceed 10% in 2006.

Investment (gross fixed): 14.2% of GDP

Budget - Budget revenues: $11.45 billion; expenditures: $11.12 billion; including capital expenditures $NA; Serbian Statistical Office indicates that for 2006 budget, Serbia will have revenues of $7.08 billion

For more information about Republic of Serbia go to or contact Jelena Backovic, third secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Seoul: (02)797-5109, 798-5109; mobile telephone: 010-3785-2311






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