Banca Intesa, the Embassy of the Republic of Italy, and the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) opened the program of the International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad
At the opening of the 90th International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad, Banca Intesa, a member of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, the Embassy of the Republic of Italy, and the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) held the conference “Agribusiness without Borders” on the topic “Food quality and safety – opportunities for cooperation between Italy and Serbia”, where they presented the importance of the food sector for the development of the economy, as well as its potential for strengthening bilateral economic relations in the field of agriculture.
Francesco Lollobrigida, Minister of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry of the Republic of Italy, Jelena Tanasković, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Management of the Republic of Serbia, and Marco Elio Rottigni spoke about the importance of the exchange of international experience and expertise, as well as the support of financial institutions for the improvement of business cooperation between Italy and Serbia. Rottigni, Head of the International Subsidiary Banks Division (ISBD), while Boris Nadlukač, a member of the Executive Board of the Novi Sad Fair, acted as moderator.
“The cooperation between the agricultural and food supply chains of Italy and Serbia is aimed at the development of joint projects of our companies. It will cover the sectors of mechanization, automation, and digitization of production processes in agriculture. We hope that the process of Serbia’s accession to the European Union will be completed as soon as possible, so that we can work together on the development of the economies of our countries, especially in the agricultural and food sector,” said Francesco Lollobrigida, Minister of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry of the Republic of Italy.
“Up until now, we have done a lot to develop relations between Italy and Serbia, especially in the agricultural segment, and we will continue to direct support for production and the creation of additional value in agriculture in the future. This is so that we can offer products, not only as raw materials, but also as finished ones, to Italy, our third most important partner in foreign trade, but also to the global market. Food quality and safety remain a special focus, and in addition to the 49 certificates we have signed in the veterinary department, as well as 9 certified facilities for milk export, we expect to sign another important certificate in the coming period. Among other things, the Government of the Republic of Serbia, through support to farmers, will direct significant funds from the budget, which has been set aside for these purposes in a record amount of 900 million euros,” said Jelena Tanasković, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Serbia.
“In order to strengthen cooperation between the two countries, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group is committed to providing resources to Serbian and Italian institutions and companies with a special focus on agribusiness and with an orientation to the development of the euro-mediterranean agricultural supply chain. In Serbia, the Group, through its member Banca Intesa Beograd, is firmly committed to financing agriculture and food production and offers favorable loans for business projects that meet the criteria of sustainability and circular economy. We have successfully expanded the Supply Chain Development Program, through which we have enabled small and medium-sized enterprises to access the financing conditions that large companies at the top of the supply chains have,” emphasized Marco Elio Rottigni, Head of the International Subsidiary Banks Division of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group.
Opportunities for improving cooperation in the field of improving the quality and safety of food between the two countries were presented by Darko Popović, President of the Executive Board of Banca Intesa, Matteo Zoppas, President of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), Slobodan Cvetković, General Manager – Chairman of the Executive Board of the Novi Sad Fair, Luigi Scordamaglia, President of Filiera Italia, Veljko Jovanović, Director of the Agriculture Sector of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia (PKS), Alessandro Malavolti, President of FederUnacoma, Vladimir Crnojević, Director of the BioSens Institute and Ettore Fontana, General Manager of AgriSerbia in the continuation of the conversation led by RTS editor and journalist Zoran Stanojević.
“Sharing experiences in the agricultural sector is of exceptional importance for the relations between our two countries. The Italian Trade Agency has a special focus on agritech as an important topic for improving agricultural production. We specifically dealt with it at the Business and Scientific Forum Serbia – Italy, which was organized by the Italian Trade Agency and the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia (PKS) in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Italy. In the coming period, two more important events await us at which we will share experiences and support the development of agriculture and technologies in agriculture – the “Startup and Innovation” festival in October and our presence at the “Vine Vision” fair, where we will have two collective exhibitions on food and organic production from 16th to 19th October,” said Matteo Zoppas, President of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA).
“I am very pleased that we are continuing the partnership that we have been building for many years with the Embassy of the Republic of Italy and the Italian Trade Agency by providing support for the development of the agricultural sector. The strength, stability, and strategic focus on the Serbian market of our parent Intesa Sanpaolo Group encourages us to continuously follow trends, and introduce innovations and advanced practices to the domestic market. Thanks to this, Banca Intesa remained one of the leading lenders in the agricultural sector in 2022., during which it achieved a growth of 36 percent in new placements on an annual basis, both in the segment of registered agricultural farms and small businesses and in the sector of large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises. These results confirm the contribution we strive to provide, not only to the creation of sustainable agricultural production and strong economic development but also to the overall strengthening of ties between our two countries,” said Darko Popović, President of the Executive Board of Banca Intesa.
The conference brought together almost 200 representatives of the state, financial and scientific institutions, economic and trade organizations, as well as local and Italian companies operating in the field of agriculture.
As a link between the professional and business public, on the one hand, and individual agricultural producers and companies, on the other, Banca Intesa will, during the Fair, from May 20th to 26th, continue to connect the economies of the two countries through a comprehensive program and presentation of trends, products, and services that can enable visitors to better know and use business opportunities not only on the domestic but also on the international market.
Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the usage of new technologies, artificial intelligence, and ESG principles in agriculture. In addition to investment and working capital loans, the bank will present a subsidized lending program that it implements in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Management.