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BELGRADE (Serbia), July 24 (SeeNews) - Serbia has suffered a 260 million euro ($289.6 million) damage thus far from the increase of Kosovo's import tariffs on all goods produced in Serbia, trade minister Rasim Ljajic said.
The final figure would be much larger because once the tariffs are abolished, Serbian companies will need a long time to return to the market, as competition from the region has positioned itself there as soon as a chance came, Ljajic said in a press release on Tuesday.
The biggest breakthrough in the market of Kosovo was achieved by Greece, which in May increased exports almost 3.5 times, followed by Hungary, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia and North Macedonia, Ljajic said.
On November 21, Kosovo's government increased import tariffs on all goods produced in Serbia and Bosnia to 100% from 10% set earlier that month, saying the move aimed to protect Kosovo's sovereignty and interests. The scope of the new import tariffs was expanded on December 29 to include products manufactured under international brands in Serbia and Bosnia.
Kosovo, considered to be a potential candidate for EU membership by the European Commission, unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has so far been recognised by more than half of the 193 UN member states. Serbia and Bosnia both do not recognise the independence of Kosovo.
($ = 0.897759 euro)