The visiting Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Nikola Selakovic expressed his deep interest in investing in the food storage industry of Bangladesh.
The Minister expressed his interest in a courtesy call on FBCCI senior vice-president Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu on Thursday morning at a city hotel.
The minister said his country's storage companies are one of the best in the world. Many have expanded their business to different countries in Africa. Bangladesh can also benefit from Serbia's investment in this sector.
Mentioning that Serbia has free trade agreements with Europe, the Eurasian Economic Union and Turkey, Bangladesh may benefit by establishing joint ventures and export at zero duty to those free trade countries.
He also expressed interest in signing two agreements on double taxation and investment protection and promotion with the government of Bangladesh to increase bilateral trade. Serbia is also keen to take skilled and semi-skilled manpower from Bangladesh in construction and agriculture, the minister informed.
At the same time, the minister urged Bangladeshi students to go to Serbia to study agricultural engineering as the country provides world best facilities of its kind.
Senior Vice President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu said that 30 percent of agricultural products are wasted in Bangladesh every year due to lack of packaging, transportation and storage. The country has cold storage only for potatoes. There are no such facilities in case of other crops. Hence, Serbia's investment in building storage facilities will open up the door of technology transfer.
The two sides also agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding between the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the FBCCI soon.
The meeting also discussed import of sunflower seeds, contract cultivation of wheat in Serbia, and establishment of the Serbian Embassy in Dhaka. Also present at the courtesy call were Serbia's Assistant Minister for Bilateral Relations Vladimir Maric, Foreign Minister's Adviser Ivan Jaksic, FBCCI Vice-President Habib Ullah Dawn, Director Amzad Hossain, Shomi Kaiser, Dr. Nadia Binte Amin, Abul Kasem Khan and Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque.