Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic started his two-day official visit to Turkey by meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday afternoon.
Immediately after Vucic’s arrival, he and Erdogan met in Istanbul with bicyclists who traveled from the Stambol Gate in Belgrade to the Belgrade Gate in Istanbul as part of the “Friendship Bridge” tour in Istanbul.
The four cyclists, Milica Rakic and Aleksandar Mijatovic from Serbia and Oğuzhan Ermiş and Muhammed Ali Oğuz from Turkey, cycled to Istanbul, which was a 1,200km long ride. The tour was organized to mark Serbian President Alexander Vucic’s visit to Turkey on May 7.
On the first day of his visit, Vucic attended a business forum organized by the Committee on Economic Relations of Turkey, where, in addition to the two presidents, the Serbian Minister of Trade, Rasim Ljajic, the President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Marko Cadez, the Turkish Minister of Economy, Nihat Zeybekci, and Bayram Akgul, Chairman of the Turkish-Serbian Business Council in the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Committee.
In his address at the forum, Vucic urged Turkish investors to continue investing in Serbia, while Erdogan pointed out that the current goal of the external trade with Serbia was to reach three billion dollars. Vucic pointed out that Serbia respected Turkey and its investments, but also that that was just the beginning of Turkish-Serbian economic cooperation.
“Serbia will make great efforts to improve our economic relations and raise them to a level that matches Turkish efforts and excellent political relations that we have established. Thanks to President Erdogan and Turkish investors, many small towns in Serbia today we do not have problem with unemployment s before”, Vucic underlined.
The value of the external trade between Turkey and Serbia was over a billion dollars in 2017, and Erdoğan said that he would like to see it tripled in years to come, adding tourism is one of the best segments where the two country could work together.
Vucic said that Belgrade and Ankara have incrased the external trade nine times in the last ten years, while since the signing of the Free Trade Agreement in January, the trade volume increased four times. Vucic also told the Turkish businessmen they were more than welcome to Serbia.
During the Turkish-Serbian business forum, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Turkish construction company Taşyapi, which also includes the construction of Belgrade-Sarajevo highway. According to the Memorandum, the Turkish company is set to present technical and financial propositions of several infrastructure projects in Serbia.
These projects include the Novi Pazar–Tutin and Aljinovici–Sjenica–Novi Pazar state road reconstruction and the construction of both strips of Belgrade-Sarajevo highway located in Serbia, namely Kuzmin-Sremska Raca and Pozega – Kotroman up to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of Construction announced.
According to the Ministry’s announcement, a special working group of Serbian Government will decide on these projects.
“The construction of the Belgrade-Sarajevo motorway is of great importance for Serbia as well as the whole region. Hence, I consider the memorandum with the Turkish construction company Taşyap yet another good step in that direction”, said Minister Mihajlovic.
Mihajlovic adds that the Serbian Ministry of Construction, Traffic and Infrastructure and Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications are also due to sign a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation on transport research and development covering international road transport of passengers and cargo.
(Politika, N1, eKapija, 06.05.2018)
Photo credits: Tanjug
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