Saturday, 13 May 2017. PDF Print E-mail
Minister Dacic at the opening of the 84th International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad
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Minister Dacic at the opening of the Novi Sad FairAddress by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic at the opening of the 84th International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad:

"Distinguished guests,
Esteemed exhibitors,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to have the opportunity to attend once again the opening of the most important agribusiness event in this part of Europe. To our country, as well as others in the region, agriculture is of paramount importance, in the context of both the results achieved thus far in this field and the remarkable potential for its further development. This is also reflected in the share of agricultural products in Serbia's aggregate exports. It would not be an exaggeration, I feel, if I said that agriculture was the only sector of Serbian industry which persisted even in the hardest of times.

I believe that it is highly important to develop international cooperation in this sphere, particularly at regional level. In this regard, I would like to thank in particular our friends from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a partner country of this year's exhibition, for their participation and cooperation. It is my great pleasure to have an opportunity to declare open this event together with my colleague and good friend, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Igor Crnadak.

Commitment to the strengthening of political and economic relations and all forms of cooperation at international level is also demonstrated by the fact that Serbia has regularly, every year, taken part in the Mostar Fair, Sarajevo Business Forum and Jahorina Economic Forum held in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We see these events as a good opportunity for establishing connections and closer ties in the region.

The outstanding importance of partnership with Bosnia and Herzegovina in the context of this agricultural fair is also demonstrated by the fact that agriculture has been one of the key areas in the overall relations between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is best illustrated by the information that agricultural and food products account for more than a third of our exports to Bosnia and Herzegovina and approximately 1/5 of their exports to Serbia. This important line of cooperation was also repeatedly emphasized in the framework of intensified dialogue and cooperation carried out between the two countries' relevant ministries, as well as between the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chamber of Economy of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Srpska.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are aware that agriculture has been facing numerous challenges and difficulties these days, from climate conditions and market prices, to the outflow of workforce and the GMO. In this context, the Government needs to, and will indeed, invest special efforts to assist the farmers and ensure conditions conducive to them achieving maximum yields, because their success is the success of all of us.

At the same time, agriculture is one of the most delicate issues in Serbia's talks aimed at joining the EU and the World Trade Organization. By acting wisely, Serbia will endeavour to make most of all the possibilities offered by such integration processes.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all countries, international organizations and financial institutions cooperating with us and providing assistance to Serbia in carrying out reforms in this field. Needless to say, there is also the invaluable cooperation with institutions of the EU which is, at the same time, Serbia's largest foreign trading partner in this as well as other sectors.

Serbia today, as the host of this reputable event, wants to be seen as a country successfully implementing internal reforms, one having created a favourable and secure foreign investment environment characterized by an economic potential of the important, stable and reliable partner at regional and international levels.

As I have been informed, this year's fair will draw more exhibitors and, according to predictions, more attendees than last year, which I am particularly pleased with. To this end, allow me to wish you a successful event, making numerous lucrative business deals as well as friendships, and for each new year to bring more of us together here than the previous one.

Thank you and all the best."