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A research team of CASS Law Institute and CASS Institute of International Law carries out investigations on preventing legal risks and building of legal mechanism for the construction of the Belt and Road in Serbia

“The Prevention of Legal Risk and Building of Legal Mechanism for the Construction of the 'Belt and Road' is a large-scale CASS investigation project implemented by CASS Law Institute and CASS Institute of International Law between 2019-2022. On May 19-24, 2019, a research team of CASS Law Institute and CASS Institute of International Law headed by Professor Mo Jihong, Director of CASS Institute of International Law, visited Serbia to carry out investigations on the Serbian foreign investment system, the implementation of the relevant laws, and investment made, main projects undertaken and potential legal risks faced by Chinese enterprises operating in Serbia.

During the four-day visit, the research team carried out investigations that covered the Chinese Embassy and Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Serbia, various projects invested and operated by Chinese companies, and a local law firm and collected in a comprehensive way the relevant local laws and policies and first-hand materials about local practices.

On the morning of May 20, the research team visited the Association of Overseas Chinese Societies i and Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Serbia and discussed with main persons in charge of the organizations such issues as the scale, personnel composition, scope of business of Chinese businesses in Serbia, especially the legal risks faced by Chinese businesses with respect to taxation, customs, and local investment.

  

On the afternoon of May 20, the research team visited the Serbian Brach Office of Shandong Hi-Speed Group Co., LTD and held talk with Mr. Zhang Chaoxian, the Executive CEO of the Office, on the organizational structure and scope of business of the company, the main projects undertaken by the company and their progresses, and especially the local legal environment with respect to construction land, the use of capital, and the subcontracting of project.

  

On the Morning of May 21, the research team visited Chinese Embassy in Serbia and held a meeting with Mr. Ci Yonghui, a counselor of the Embassy, on the main investment projects of Chinese enterprises in Serbia, the implementation of relevant local laws, and the possible legal risks faced by Chinese companies.

  

On the afternoon of May 21, the research team visited HBIS Serbia in Smederevo and held a meeting with Mr. Song Sihai, the executive CEO of the company, Mr. Zhao Jun, the general manager of the company, and Mr. Wang Lianxi, the deputy general manager of the company, on the preparation and implementation of the investment of HBIS in Serbia, its current operational situation, the main legal issues in the cross-border mergers and acquisitions and the corresponding countermeasures, and the achievements made by HBIS in the implementation of the Belt and Road Strategy.

  

On May 22, the research team visited the Serbian Brach Office of Shandong Linglong Tire Co., Ltd. and held a meeting with a managerial team headed by Ms. Li Meilian, the manager of the office. At the meeting, Ms. Li introduced the reasons, the process and the current situation of the company’s investment in Serbia, especially the assessment of the legal environment and access to legal services, and the legal risks involved the greenfield investment by Chinese private enterprises overseas.

 
 

On the afternoon of May 22, the research team visited BelmaxCenter Belgrade and held a discussion with the manager of the Center on the process of establishment, the current scope, scale and emphasis of business, and the plan for the future development of the Center, especially the legal environment, and the legal risks faced by Chinese enterprises in the selection of local partners and in the access to legal services.

  

On the morning of May 23, the research team visited the construction project management office of Serbian-Hungarian Railroad and discussed with the Mr. Hu Yongjiang, the deputy manager of the of the project, and his team such issues as the design, the construction content, the financing method, the conditions of employment of the project, and especially the local legal norms on large construction projects, related legal consultation services, and potential legal risks.

  

On the afternoon of May 23, the research team visited Belgrade Law Firm and held a meeting with the main partners of the law firm, Mr. Srecko Kopilovicand and Ms. Ivana Kopilovic. The law firm has many legal businesses relating to the investment by Chinese enterprises in Serbia and has rich practical experience in dealing with related legal risks. In the meeting, Ms. Kopilovic, who spoke Chinese language, recalled her study of law in China, systematically compared the legal systems and their implementation in China and Serbia, and analyzed the main risks faced by Chinese enterprises investing in Serbia.

  

On the morning of May 24, members of the research team went to the streets of Serbian to conduct random one-to-one interviews of ordinary Serbian citizens of different age groups to learn about their knowledge about and attitude towards the Belt and Road Strategy and the investment by Chinese enterprises in their country. After that, the research team went directly to the airport and left Serbia for Hungary, the next stop of the investigation tour.