Tirana hosted the Agro-Business Forum Albania- Turkey with the participation of Agriculture Minister Edmond Panariti and Turkish Minister of Agriculture, Food and Animal Farming, Faruk Çelik .

Also in attendance of this event were senior officials of both countries, representatives of 49 Turkish companies operating in agriculture, processing of agricultural products as well as potential entrepreneurs of this sector from different zones of Albania.

Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Waters Administration Edmond Panariti said that this forum will give further impetus to relations between Albania and Turkey.

Our duty as politicians is to capitalize on this friendly climate between the two countries to boost our commercial relations. Our community in Turkey has played a positive role in development of relations between the two countries just as our national personalities have done in the past, Panariti said.

He added that promotion of cooperation relations remains our common challenge.

Minister of Agriculture put the emphasis on aspiration of Albania to join the EU adding that strengthening of cooperation relations with the neighboring countries and Turkey in particular is of crucial importance.

Panariti highly appreciated the broad participation in Agro-Business Forum Albania- Turkey which, according to him, will prove successful. Minister Panariti thanked Turkey for its support in the flooded areas also voicing his delight to participate in a forum like this, ATA agency reports.

The very good relations between the two countries have their roots in many areas, he said.

“During the visit of President of Albania Bujar Nishani in Ankara on December 21, 2016, I was tasked by President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan with promoting the cooperation between the two countries in the field of agriculture. The relevant teams of experts have met yesterday and come up with an action plan. The President has set a target of increasing trade exchanges between the two countries to USD 1 bn,” Çelik said. Speaking about the current trade exchanges, he said that the field of agriculture constitutes only 11 percent of trade exchanges, estimated at USD 326 mln.

According to ATA agency, Çelik said that drawing on the experience and opportunities of both countries, the cooperation in the field of agriculture will increase substantially and he will closely follow this issue.

The Head of Turkish agriculture made an overview of developments in the field of agriculture in Turkey, adding that thanks to reforms and stability his country, Turkey, has become the biggest agricultural power in Europe. He also expressed his confidence that both countries will step up cooperation in this field.

Çelik informed that next month Turkey will host the Agro-Business Forum in Antlaya with the participation of 54 Agriculture Ministers from African countries./AgroWeb.org