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Officials: Balkan countries want to improve economic ties with Türkiye

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Officials believe Turkish President Erdogan’s visit this week will greatly contribute to development of economic relations

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia are aiming to improve their economic relations with Türkiye, officials of the three countries said ahead of this week’s Balkan tour by the Turkish president.

Zdravko Marinkovic, head of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Chamber of Foreign Trade, told Anadolu Agency that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Balkan tour is important for the region.

“Türkiye invested $265 million in Bosnia and Herzegovina last year. Türkiye is one of the most important investment powers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The trade volume increased to approximately $600 million last year,” said Marinkovic.

Marija Sepi, head of the Center for Europe at Serbia’s Chamber of Commerce, said econmic relations with Türkiye are at the highest level.

“The economic relations between Türkiye and Serbia have made great progress in recent years. The foreign trade volume reached $1.73 billion in 2021,” said Sepi.

Moreover, imports from Türkiye increased by 43%, she added.

“We have come a long way in terms of foreign trade volume and investment, but we are below the real potential. Thanks to good political relations, the economic relations of the two countries are at the highest level,” said Sepi.

Sepi added that there are 699 Turkish companies registered in Serbia and these companies employ approximately 10,000 people.

Silva Stipic, director of the International Employment Center at Croatia’s Chamber of Economy, said the bilateral trade volume reached $845 million in 2021.

“We reached $501 million in the first five months of this year. I can say that we are getting closer to the target,” said Stipic.

During Erdogan’s Balkan visit, business forums are planned in Sarajevo, Belgrade and Zagreb with the cooperation of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Türkiye (DEIK).

In recent years, the Balkans region has become an attractive market for Turkish investors with its qualified workforce, business-friendly investment environment, and tax and financial incentives.

The region — which has deep historical and cultural ties with Türkiye — is often described as Türkiye’s gateway to the EU thanks to its geographical location.

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