The 83rd Annual International Agricultural Fair opens its doors


The President of the Republic of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, ceremoniously opened the 83rd Annual International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad yesterday. He pointed out that the national projects concerning the agricultural industry had already been set in motion with a single aim – to put the country on the fast track in terms of development.

Serbia’s strategic goals in the agricultural industry were redefined in the previous period that now, in turn, acts as a springboard for our country reaching the full potential. The President welcomed numerous vendors and exhibitors as well as the visitors who attended the largest, most influential agribusiness event in the region. This seven-day Expo will attract no fewer than 1,500 exhibitors and vendors from as many as 60 countries.
Saying that the International Agricultural Fair is not only the place that connects businessmen but it is also “a place where nations meet“, President Nikolic took an opportunity to welcome the Italian ambassador in Serbia, Mr. Giuseppe Manzo, whose country is this year’s Show Partner Country.
“The Novi Sad Agricultural Fair serves as a link which connects the two countries’ economies, if you will, and even though these economies may be different, we can still share our experiences“, says the President, adding that “Serbia does have a lot to learn from Italy given that it is the leading European country in both food processing and wine industry production equipment“.
President Nikolic also welcomed the officials and exhibitors from other countries, especially the new ones along with those who have already established the tradition of attending the Expo, wishing everyone all the success in their endeavor hoping for them to not only be business partners but true friends, as well.
Serbian President said that the Novi Sad Agricultural Fair has benefited the community and the countries economy for decades even when times were hard; it was “a window to the world“ enabling for the innovative technology to be introduced. “There is not a company either in the business of agriculture, farming mechanization or plant and seed manufacturing that has not at least once exhibited at the Novi Sad Agricultural Fair. That is a testament to the significance of the Fair“.
“What is particularly encouraging is the fact that among this year’s exhibitors and vendors are countries that after years of break have come back to exhibit“, says President Nikolic, adding that “it is all due to Serbia’s enormous agricultural potential and that is particularly true for the Province of Vojvodina.
As he welcomed the attendees of the Expo, the Minister of Economy, Zeljko Sertic, marked the agricultural industry as a sector that “has been making a constant surplus with the last year’s 19 per cent increase in commodities exchange compared to the year of 2014“.
“We are aware that the competition at the European market is quite fearsome but we do have a team of our best, most successful food and agricultural industry representatives“, says Sertic, pointing out the fact that Serbia is the largest exporter of agricultural products within the CEFTA region with € 2.2 billion worth of exported good and services.
“In order to make the most of the opportunities given to us, a steady stream of investment is needed – investments in the agro-industry“, says Sertic, who was appealing for the agricultural producers to “join forces and the Government will help out“.
Snezana Bogosavljevic Boskovic with the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia also stated, “the Government will always be there to help agricultural producers as much as possible. Our main goal is to ensure better production volume, better quality and, perhaps, even more importantly, production continuity. The Government, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Education will join forces in order to support the Serbian agro-industry.“
“Italy is Serbia’s largest trading partner, particularly in the auto-industry“, said the Italian ambassador, Giuseppe Manzo, in a speech he gave at the 83rd Annual International Agricultural Fair’s grand opening ceremony. He says the agro-industry takes up a significant place in the economies of Serbia and Italy generating new jobs.
The City’s Mayor, Milos Vucevic, addressed to the attendees of the Fair saying he was pleased to see the Expo’s rise to prominence with more and more exhibitors displaying. “This is to prove that the Fair has become a traditional event — established and recognized— and that despite the times of hardship the country’s agricultural industry has been facing for an extended period of time I am confident we will be able to increase agricultural productivity in the following years and do it successfully“.
The Novi Sad Fair’s CEO, Slobodan Cvetkovic, greeted the guests, the majority of which included the Government members of Croatia and Hungary, the officials of the Province of Vojvodina and the City of Novi Sad as well as the leaders of religious communities.
“Over the course of many years, this event has become the international conversation piece for cattlemen and has emerged as an internationally recognized location for all things agricultural and so, for this year we have raised the bar even higher.“, said the CEO pointing out that “there is a 10 percent increase in terms of concession at this year’s Fair.“