Closer cooperation with Serbia on agriculture

The Netherlands is to cooperate more closely with Serbia on agricultural matters. This has been agreed by the Dutch Minister for Agriculture and Foreign Trade, Henk Bleker and his Serbian counterpart Dusan Petrovic. The Serbian delegation recently visited dairy businesses and glasshouse growers in the Netherlands. Minister Bleker plans to visit Serbia in 2012 with representatives from agri-sector businesses.

Opportunities for Dutch investment

The Serbian agriculture sector has great potential, with its rich soil and favourable location in relation to several large European markets. However, the sector is still outdated and fragmented. This situation offers opportunities for Dutch investment. The Netherlands already provides knowledge and know-how, for instance on veterinary and plant diseases and efficient production.

Research

Serbia wishes to become a candidate Member State of the EU. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture have commissioned Wageningen University and Research Centre and the University of Belgrade to examine the state of the agricultural sector in the light of EU requirements. Speedy harmonisation with EU food and plant standards, with the help of the Netherlands, could also be favourable to Dutch trade with Serbia.