Serbia signs agriculture agreement with Al Dahra

ABU DHABI -- Finance and Economy Minister Mlađan Dinkić and representatives of agro-industrial company Al Dahra signed a USD 400 million joint venture agreement.

The deal was signed in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday and money will be invested in Serbian agriculture.

One-third of the investment will be used to purchase assets of eight failed agricultural combines, while the rest will go into installing irrigation systems, purchasing modern equipment and current assets needed for construction and operation of at least five factories for the production of cattle feed, the Finance and Economy Ministry said in a release.

“With yesterday's USD 400 million from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the USD 400 million worth of investment from Al Dahra, we have secured a total of USD 800 million of investment in Serbia's agriculture,” Dinkić, who is on a working visit to Abu Dhabi, was quoted as saying.

“With the arrival of Al Dahra, we expect agricultural productivity to increase and Serbia to become a major food exporter. We also want to ensure food security of our population,” he said.

This agreement is opening up possibilities to increase Serbia's exports and marketing of agricultural products in the foreign markets, as the company plans to employ local agricultural producers as their subcontractors.

Dinkić was received by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, head of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the biggest investment funds in the world that has about USD 1.3 trillion in assets.

Dinkić and Sheikh Al Nahyan discussed possible investment by the fund in several major industrial projects in Serbia, for which the Emirates showed serious interest.

On Thursday, Dinkić also met with representatives of the Mubadala Aerospace and the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, for talks on opportunities for partnership with Serbia's company Jat Tehnika.