Mr Vučić and Mr Erdogan: We’ll also bring the economic relations to the level of political relations

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has estimated today in Istanbul that the relations with Turkey, being on a high level, provide a huge potential for further development of economic relations, and invited Turkish investors to keep investing in Serbia, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out the objective to have the trade exchange with Serbia exceeding three billion dollars.

In his speech at the Turkish-Serbia Business Forum, Serbian President mentioned that Turkish media were saying that relations between the two countries have never been better, and are like they had been during the time of Kemal Ataturk and King Alexander.

“I don’t know if we’re there yet, but the largest portion of what we have achieved, we have achieved today thanks to the enormous effort, labour and commitment of Turkish President Erdogan to establish these ties”, Mr Vučić has underlined.

Mr Vučić has stated that Serbia respects Turkey and the investments of that country, but that it is only the beginning.

“Serbia will invest its great efforts to improve our economic relations and raise them to the level which will be favourable to the increased Turkish efforts and excellent political relations we have established. We could not establish relations as good as these for many years. Thanks to President Erdogan and the Turkish investors in many small towns in Serbia today we do not have issues with unemployment we used to have before”, he underlined.

Mr Vučić has noticed that Turkish investors came to small towns, where investors of other countries did not want to come, and that they invested in the towns hit by floods and opened factories in Krupanj, Vladičin Han, Žitorađa, and others.

He also thanked to Mr Erdogan for always taking care of the municipalities where Bosniaks are majority, as well as those with Orthodox majority.

He said that thanks to the quota for beef export to Turkey, Serbian producers have a safe market and a good price.
He expressed his hope that Serbian producers can meet the requirements and that we will ask for an increased quotas.

“By that we will tie ourselves to Turkey even more, and I’m sure that Turkey will feel the benefits of that”, he underlined.

Mr Vučić said there was a huge potential when it comes to oilseed products, since we have those crops this year more than ever, so there is no safer and better market for that than the Turkish one.

He has also underlined that Turkish tourists are number one in Serbia, which some people can find surprising.

“We have realised Belgrade has the largest number of Turkish tourists. They visit cultural and historical monuments, know about our ties, want to learn something new, and we hope they will want to invest in Belgrade and Serbia”, he stressed.
He thanked for the opening of Halkbank in Serbia since without it Turkish investments wouldn’t develop this fast.
He invited Turkish investors to keep investing in Serbia, reminding that our trade in the last ten months has increases even ten times.

“You placed a very ambitious task before us today, which means to triple our trade. I’m sure it is possible, since Serbia has a special respect towards Turkey and President Erdogan. You are welcome in our country, to feel like at home. We will welcome you as our friends and each company will have an open door of my office, as well as offices of our PM, and all Ministers”, he said.

He communicated the appeal of Serbian businessmen to President Erdogan to ensure that all producers could enter some trade chains.

He repeated the previous message to Turkish investors that in Serbia they will get at least by five per cent better offer than other Balkan countries in the South-East Europe will give them.

“Bring a document and show us the offers given by Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia and you will get by at least five per cent better conditions”, says Mr Vučić, adding that within 48 hours they will be able to reach the top government to resolve any issues they might have.

In the end he thanked to Mr Erdogan for his welcome at the airport, expressing a special honour and privilege.
Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed his hope that the meeting with the Head of Serbia will be an occasion for the realisation of a new cooperation and new projects.

“Serbia is our friend, a key country for peace and stability in the Balkans. There is a strong commitment to improving the relations in all fields. This visit paid by President Vučić to our country is the best evidence of the mutual desire to improve our cooperation, and in tomorrow’s meeting we will give our contribution as well”, said Mr Erdogan.

Mr Erdogan has pointed out that last year the trade cooperation with Serbia for the first time exceeded one billion dollars, and his hope is that it will reach two billion and even three billion in some time in the future.

“To achieve this objective everyone has to work seriously. Serbia with its central and strategic position in the Balkans and favourable business environment has huge capacities for all the investors”, thinks Mr Erdogan.

He said that Serbia was committed to facilitating the arrival of Turkish investors.

He stated that the Halkbank was already making a great success in Serbia, having started achieving the results promised by Mr Erdogan during his visit in Belgrade, which was to increase the capital.

According to Mr Erdogan the Halkbank has increased the capital by 20 million euros in February, and the remaining 20 million will be made in the months to come.