Kosovo trade fair hosts 20 Serbian companies
In cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, SPARK recently organised the participation of 20 Serbian SMEs to a trade fair in Pristina, Kosovo. Most of the Serbian agricultural companies are family businesses and were selected by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce to participate as they are established companies which to date have not traded in Kosovo; their participation in the trade fair aims to change this.
This annual Agriculture and Agri-industry fair took place from 30th September to 2nd October and the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce was pleased that this year’s event saw an increase in the number of Serbian companies. SPARK became involved in organising the event in 2013; at this time only two Serbian companies exposed their products at the event, so this year marked a 10 fold increase in Serbian business participation. SPARK had the second largest stand at the fair, highlighting the big achievements which have been made to improve working relations between the business communities of Serbia and Kosovo.
The visit was organised under the Trade Facilitation Project, an initiative which aims to contribute to stability and conflict mitigation by improving economic developments between Kosovo and Serbia and through job creation. The project, which began in June 2015 and will run for 6 months, provides direct support to the Serbian and Kosovo SMEs, strengthening their capacities for regional trade with the aim of influencing SME cooperation between Kosovo and Serbia
The participating companies represented both producers and processors of agricultural goods. A variety of sectors within the agriculture industry attended the event, including amongst others, representatives from dairies, distilleries, and both wine and meat producers. These companies displayed the rich heritage of the traditional produce for which Serbia is renowned. One company brought rakija, a type of fruit brandy which is popular in the Balkans, most notably the plum rakija, known locally as sljivovica. Zlatiborac, one of the largest Serbian companies that participated in the fair, exhibited its specialty delicatessen produce of salted, dried and smoked meats.
The representatives of the Serbian companies that attended the event all agreed that Kosovo, with its population of 2 million people, presents an appealing and significant market for their goods. So far only one of the participants NUTRIKO, a business which produces animal food, currently trades with the Kosovo market. The fair witnessed a number of business to business (B2B) meetings and already a new partnership has been agreed upon between Serbian company DM Diamond, which produces agricultural products, and FITO FARM from Kosovo a wholesaler and retailer of agricultural products.
SPARK anticipates that further partnerships will be announced in a report of the fair which is being prepared by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce. Marko Cadez, Director of the Serbian Chamber, said of the event: “this is a natural market, and we have to work together and look for mutual ground and common ways so that we can open new businesses and expand existing ones” (Tanjug), adding that the chambers of Serbia and Kosovo are working together collaboratively to remove existing obstacles to business operations. Under the same Trade Facilitation Project, SPARK will organise the participation of Kosovo companies to the Belgrade trade fair later in October which will focus on the Energy Sector.