Economy and trade ministers from Ankara, Belgrade and Sarajevo formally agreed to improve economic ties in an attempt to boost mutual trade.Serbian trade minister and deputy prime minister Rasim Ljajic, Bosnian trade minister Mirko Sarovic and Turkish economy minister Zafer Caglayan, Turkey’s Minister of Economy signed a declaration on economic and trade cooperation in Ankara on Tuesday.
The declaration is intended to improve the three countries’ economic cooperation in all fields and increase trade and joint presence on other markets.
Ljajic said after the meeting said that the good political relations between Serbia, Turkey and Bosnia had to be accompanied by appropriate economic cooperation.
“There is a certain lack of confidence when it comes to political trilateralism, but if the citizens of our countries see tangible benefits of the cooperation between Serbia, Bosnia and Turkey, that lack of confidence will disappear,” Ljajic said in a statement.
According to Ljajic, the potential exists for joint projects between Serbia and Bosnia in tourism, energy, construction, agriculture, the food industry and the arms trade, and with Turkey’s help, there could be breakthroughs in former Soviet countries’ markets and in Africa.
Sarovic said Serbia was Bosnia’s third closest trade partner, and that Sarajevo and Belgrade saw a great opportunity for economic growth by cooperating with Turkey.
Caglayan said that Turkey looked forward to any improvements in economic cooperation between the three countries.
The three officials agreed to hold their next meeting in Sarajevo as soon as possible, to run simultaneously with a business forum involving companies from the three countriess.
Later on Tuesday, the heads of the three states are also scheduled to meet in Ankara.
This is the third trilateral summit of its kind. The first was held on 2010, also in Turkey, while the second took place in 2011 in Serbia.