Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is currently in Serbia – her first visit to the country.
She will spend three days in the landlocked central European country and will meet Aleksandar Vulin, her Serbian counterpart. Their meeting is aimed at exploring defence co-operation and strengthening bilateral relations between Serbia and South Africa.
According to The World Factbook, Serbia spent an estimated 1,34% of Gross Domestic Products on defence this year. This is slightly up from 1,25% the previous year and goes to supporting and arming the Serbian Armed Forces (Vojska Srbije). The country’s defence force is made up of and an air and air defence force and a land force, which includes a riverine component, based on the Danube, Sava and Tsiva rivers. The American publication rates Serbia 36th militarily in comparison to the rest of the world. Serbian armed forces have and are taking part in multi-national peacekeeping deployments in Lebanon, Cyprus, Ivory Coast and Liberia.
Serbia participates in the NATO individual partnership action plan programme but, according to Wikipedia, has shown no intention of joining the organisation.
Reports have it the country is an exporter of military equipment to the central and south-eastern region of Europe with defence exports totalling about $483 million in 2016. Serbian manufactured defence equipment and materiel also finds markets in the Middle East, Africa, south-east Asia and North America.
Mapisa-Nqakula is due back in South Africa on Thursday.