The online signing ceremony took place in the morning of 8 April at the Palace of Serbia, where Mr. Branislav Nedimovic, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, signed the agreements on behalf of the government of Serbia, witnessed by Her Excellency Ms. Ana Brnabic, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia and Her Excellency Ms. Chen Bo, the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, amongst other guests.
The agreement includes two laboratories with overall throughput of 3,000 tests per day – tripling the current testing capability in Serbia, as well as the accompanying necessary equipment, tests and sampling kits. Starting from Wuhan in the midst of the epidemic, BGI has built more than a dozen such laboratories across China, which later proved to be one of the crucial steps in China’s strategy of fighting – and winning – against the novel coronavirus.
The arrival of the equipment and BGI experts, who will be training our medical staff and setting up the laboratories, is anticipated early next week. The Belgrade laboratory is expected to open mid-April within the Clinical Centre of Serbia. The laboratory in Nis is being built from scratch, requiring roughly one and a half months to be completed.
As a gesture of admirable generosity, the Mammoth Foundation, Tencent and the founders of BGI, all from China, donated key instruments for the laboratories. Equally significant is the donation of the Chinese company Zijin Bor Copper Serbia that has generously helped the Serbian Government in this time of pandemic.