Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli PhD, met Serbian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Branislav Nedimovic as part of his contacts in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.
Minister Pakdemirli made some evaluations after the meeting. Reminding that the Free Trade Agreement had entered into force then, Minister Pakdemirli said that they discussed further improvement and development of trade, institutional cooperation and new investments and future projects.
Noting that there were significant opportunities in the forest area in Serbia, Minister Pakdemirli said:
"My counterpart has informed me that he expects investors especially from Turkey in this regard. He said very nice words indeed. It is possible to sell and buy forest assets for 10-year terms. They want the investors to take the assets and turn them into value-added. That's why they are waiting for the investors and what's more they are giving a promotion of 50%."
"WE ARE THE THIRD IN THE FIELD OF FORESTRY"
Stressing that Turkey ranked the third after China and India in forestry in the world, Minister Pakdemirli said:
"We have promised to share Turkey's experiences in terms of development of forest areas. For this reason, one of our friends will come to Serbia next week. We have decided to create a mutual workgroup to work on what can be done in the field of forestry here."
Stating that rural development is very important in Serbia as well as in Turkey, Minister Pakdemirli said,
"There are some projects that we have made here as well as the livestock projects of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA). We are closely following it as the Ministry. We will continue to contribute to the development of Serbia in the livestock area."
Underlining that Turkey made very serious investments in irrigation systems in the last 15 years, Pakdemirli said:
"State Hydraulic Works (DSI) has a very significant technical unit in terms of both the transfer of wild irrigation to closed system and the irrigability of areas that cannot be irrigated. DSİ is one of the world's leading institutions. Not only DSİ but also the private sector of our country has covered a lot of ground in especially the area of irrigation. Our quality is at the highest level in the world and our prices are much cheaper than many Western countries. Here is an opportunity for roughly 100 million dollars for irrigation systems."
"THIS VISIT IS VERY USEFUL FOR THE TWO COUNTRIES"
Informing that floods were also discussed in the meeting, Minister Pakdemirli said:
"There are sometimes floods in also Turkey. Every country experiences the same events from time to time. We have a long consultation with my counterpart on sharing our experiences related to this subject with Serbia by the State Hydraulic Works."
Minister Pakdemirli also stated that the visit was really useful for both Turkey and Serbia. And he concluded:
"It is useful that the ministers meet before the presidents meet. There are important steps taken like the transmission of mutual wishes and demands and the resolution of the problems. The relations between the two countries are going very well. We have talked about the potantial of other kinds of cooperation and possible problems and have taken steps for the resolution process, and so, we hope that we will always keep on cooperating in the same way."