Bilateral trade that stood at about $2 billion in 2021 saw an increase of 31 percent in the 1st quarter of 2022, said the Turkish foreign minister during his visit to Belgrade.

Turkish business people's investments in Serbia increased from $1 million to $300 million in 10 years, said Türkiye's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Turkish business people's investments in Serbia increased from $1 million to $300 million in 10 years, said Türkiye's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. (AA)

Türkiye and Serbia are taking concrete steps to expand bilateral trade volume to $5 billion through 2022 as "economic and commercial relations are progressing rapidly."

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu made the remarks on Thursday during a joint news conference with his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic in Belgrade.

"The common goal set by our presidents is clear. The goal is to increase our trade volume to 5 billion (US) dollars. We are taking firm steps towards this goal," said the visiting Turkish foreign minister.

"In 2021, our trade volume reached almost 2 billion dollars," he said, adding that "in the first quarter of 2022, we recorded an increase of 31 percent."

Nikola Selakovic, for his part, said relations between Serbia and Türkiye are at a historic peak.

"We are very satisfied with the upward trend of these relations, and we can say that in the previous 142 years of our diplomatic relations, they are now at their historical peak," Selakovic added.

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Strengthening cooperation

"The number of reciprocal tourists is increasing. We expect the number of Serbian tourists visiting our country this year will exceed 300,000," said Cavusoglu.

Türkiye is hoping that this figure will increase further with the implementation of removing visa requirements for citizens of both countries.

People from both nations would be able to enter each other's countries using only their identity cards, according to Cavusoglu, and an agreement will be signed soon by the two countries' interior ministers.

Serbia will be the 6th country where Turkish citizens would be able to travel with their ID, joining Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Moldova, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

Cavusoglu recalled that Türkiye opened a consulate general in Novi Pazar, southwestern Serbia, in 2021, becoming the first country to inaugurate a consulate there.

"This year, we continue to work to open a Consular Office in the city of Nis to help Turkish people living in Europe to get services if they needed," he said.

Earlier, Türkiye and Serbia signed an agreement to combat illegal cultural heritage trafficking in order to fight the smuggling of cultural treasures.

With the agreement, Türkiye and Serbia have further strengthened the contractual basis of their cooperation, Cavusoglu said.

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Source: AA