Tuesday, 20 May 2014. PDF Print E-mail
FDPM and MFA I. Dacic opens International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad
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Dacic - TimmermansFirst Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic met today in Novi Sad with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Frans Timmermans, and opened the 81st International Agricultural Fair in that city.

Addressing many officials, exhibitors, farmers and guests, Minister Dacic pointed out that despite the general atmosphere in which this event was taking place, life had to go on and "Serbia must have a better quality of response to all the challenges it is currently facing".

Dacic said that the joint position, as emphasized in the talk with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, was that this event, despite the extremely difficult situation in the country caused by the floods, should not be delayed, but "the work has to be done".

Pointing out that it is particularly important that the Netherlands is the partner country of the Agricultural Fair, because it is one of the most important agricultural states and the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world, Minister Dacic said that Serbia can learn a lot from the Netherlands.

He particularly emphasized the cooperation in water industry, which would be extremely important to Serbia now in the context of alleviating the damage that Serbia has suffered over the past few days.

FDPM pointed out that agriculture was a great development opportunity for Serbia that we had to use to the maximum and added that the development of this branch was crucial in the stimulation of the overall Serbian economy.

Serbian Foreign Minister also said that severe floods had caused immeasurable damage to agriculture in almost half of the territory of Serbia, recalling that the damage caused by the drought two years ago was estimated at around one billion euros and added that the anticipated effects of this catastrophe were of that order, if not even more devastating.

On this occasion, Minister said that 10 percent of the annual gross domestic product was recorded in that area, that 21 per cent of overall employment in Serbia was in agriculture, as well as that foreign exchange earnings from agriculture were around one billion euros a year.

In his remarks, Dutch Foreign Minister Timmermans said that the Dutch Government had decided to grant Serbia 500,000 euros.

He also said that the Netherlands turned water, its worst enemy over the centuries, into the biggest ally, pointing out that the country wanted to share with Serbia its valuable experience in this field.

Our two countries, he added, were tied by the importance of the agricultural sector and stressed that he was grateful that the Netherlands was given the opportunity to become an associate and ally at the Agricultural Fair.

"I do hope that this event will contribute to the improvement of the overall cooperation between our two countries", concluded Timmermans in Serbian.

Statements by Minister Dacic and Minister Timmermans at the opening of the Novi Sad Fair

Minister Dacic and Minister Timmermans open the Novi Sad Fair