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A conference “Investments in Serbia’s Agribusiness Sector” was held at the 77th International Agriculture Fair

Investing in agriculture means lowering of foreign trade deficit

01. June 2010. | 11:00

Source: EMGportal

It is necessary to improve the institutional frame and to create a stable and predictable business environment in order to enable larger investments in agriculture and attract foreign investors – this is a joint conclusion of attendees of the conference entitled “Investments in Serbia’s Agribusiness Sector”, which was held at the Novi Sad Agriculture Fair on Tuesday, May 18th.

It is necessary to improve the institutional frame and to create a stable and predictable business environment in order to enable larger investments in agriculture and attract foreign investors – this is a joint conclusion of attendees of the conference entitled “Investments in Serbia’s Agribusiness Sector”, which was held at the Novi Sad Agriculture Fair on Tuesday, May 18th.

The conference was opened by Saša Dragin, Minister of Agriculture, with remarks:

“The only good agricultural policy is the one that enables the agricultural producer, the farmer to live well on this hard work. In the past several years, the agriculture sector recorded a foreign trade surplus, and last year’s sector growth stands at 2%. We will prove that it is possible to enable a fast development of agriculture under the model of EU’s joint agricultural policy, on the principles of social justice“.

“Serbia has potential to grow quality tobacco, and tobacco is one of the rare plants that already has a formed and secure market. We believe that Serbia should seize this opportunity and lower the foreign trade deficit in this way. The fact that Japan Tobacco International exported tobacco worth $13 million speaks in favor of this“ – stated Kent Brown, Vice-President of Corporate Affairs at Japan Tobacco International Company and added, “Tobacco production is also one of the ways to resolve another acute problem – unemployment. One hectare employs one person, which means that 1,000 people could find work if the area of planted tobacco increases by 1,000 hectares“.

Representatives of USAID-sponsored Agribusiness Project, SIEPA, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Belgrade Faculty of Agriculture participated in the conference.

JTI is third largest company for cigarette production and sale of Serbia. Since the acquiring Duvanska industrija Senta in 2006, JTI has invested over $100 million in Serbia.

Moreover, the company implemented plant modernization, initiated production of cigarettes, started with export to Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and FYRMacedonia.

Today JTI employs over 300 people in Serbia and Belgrade and they hire around 600 tobacco growers and seasonal workers with whom they cooperate closely.

The company is providing them with the much needed raw materials and know how acquired from experience gained throughout the world.

One of the main goals of JTI Company in the region is to expand business operations on the West Balkans and increase of export from the plant in Senta.

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