210913 Belgrade
Officials at the ground-breaking ceremony in Belgrade. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: A ground-breaking ceremony took place Wednesday in Belgrade in the presence of UAE, Serbian and Chinese dignitaries, signalling the start of construction on a new local vaccine manufacturing plant.

The ceremony follows the signing of an agreement between Group42, Sinopharm and Serbia in July to collaborate on vaccine production to serve Serbians and the wider region.

The ground-breaking ceremony in Belgrade, was attended by Serbian President Aleksander Vucic, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, CEO and Managing Director of Mubadala and Board Member of Group42, Peng Xiao, CEO, Group42, Yang Huichuan, Vice President, Sinopharm CNBG among other high-level delegates.

The facility will have an annual capacity of 36 million doses to protect people from COVID-19.

At the ground-breaking ceremony, President Vucic said: “Serbia will have one of the most modern vaccine factories. I am proud that we have tried to solve some of the regional and world problems together with our Chinese and Emirati partners.”

Al Mubarak said: “Today’s ceremony shows what can be achieved when we build global partnerships and investment relationships around shared challenges and opportunities.”

Xiao said: “This new alliance will foster knowledge and capabilities sharing, and enable all of us to further strengthen our expertise in the healthcare domain, with the prospect of future-proofing the health of our nations.”