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Minister Šinko and her Turkish counterpart confirm further cooperation

Minister Irena Šinko has hosted her Turkish counterpart Vahit Kirişci, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Türkiye, for a two-day visit in Slovenia.

The fourth session of the Slovenia-Türkiye Steering Committee for Agriculture and Forestry was held on the margins of the bilateral ministerial meeting in Bled. The delegations of the two countries met today at Brdo Castle and signed an agreement on further cooperation between the countries. The Turkish minister got acquainted with some of Slovenia's particularities together with State Secretary Darij Krajčič, including a visit to the Brdo pri Kranju special purpose hunting ground.

Minister Šinko and her Turkish counterpart Vahit Kirişci

Minister Šinko and her Turkish counterpart Vahit Kirişci | Author Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Food

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The relations between Slovenia and Türkiye are friendly and without any open questions. The countries cooperate successfully in the fields of agriculture, rural development and forestry. The legal basis for bilateral cooperation is the Memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of agriculture between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Government of the Republic of Türkiye, which was signed in late 2007 in Ankara. The Slovenia-Türkiye Steering Committee, which met yesterday for its fourth session, was established based on the Memorandum. An agreement on extending cooperation in agriculture, forestry, food safety and plant protection for another year was also signed today. Directors-general of the Agriculture Directorate and the Forestry and Hunting Directorate Maša Žagar and Robert Režonja, co-chairs of the Steering Committee, signed the agreement on behalf of Slovenia in the presence of both ministers.

Yesterday, Minister Šinko and her Turkish counterpart Minister Kirişci held a bilateral meeting, which continued today in an extended format. They reviewed the situation in terms of cooperation, the exchange of good practices and systemic solutions, and support to sectors with various measures. In their talks, the ministers highlighted future cooperation in agriculture, rural development and sustainable forest management. "It is particularly important to establish direct cooperation between the competent administrations for veterinary and phytosanitary matters. The cooperation in these two areas should be as good and as fast as possible, since we need veterinary certificates for the export of animals, food of animal origin, animal by-products and feed. This is an official document confirming that the shipment meets the requirements of the importing country," noted Minister Šinko, while adding: "At today's bilateral meeting, my guest and I also discussed the economic cooperation between our countries and the possibility of increasing the trade in agri-food products. In order to increase the trade between the countries, we should definitely become more active in agri-food trade fairs and other economic events both in Türkiye and Slovenia."

The ministers also touched on food security in the international environment. This is one of the key global challenges and Slovenia is no exception to this. The effects of the Russian invasion show in higher costs throughout the food supply chain, the destabilisation of agricultural markets, disruptions in trade flows from and into Ukraine and Russia, and food security. Minister Šinko warmly welcomed the role that Türkiye had played in reaching the agreement signed by Russia, Ukraine, Türkiye and the UN, allowing the export of grain from Ukraine through the Black Sea. Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Türkiye Vahit Kirişci thanked Minister Šinko for the hospitality extended to the Turkish delegation in Slovenia over the past two days and invited her to visit Türkiye. He noted: "The Steering Committee held a very productive meeting. I am pleased that our countries will continue to exchange knowledge and experience in various areas."

The next session of the Steering Committee will be held next year in Türkiye.

Trade in agri-food products between Slovenia and Türkiye

In 2021, the trade in agri-food products between Slovenia and Türkiye amounted to a total of EUR 13.5 million, which is EUR 2 million more than in 2020. Slovenian exports to Türkiye increased by EUR 1.3 million, while Slovenian imports from Türkiye decreased by EUR 3.4 million.

In 2021, exports accounted for 29.6% and imports for 70.4% of the total trade in agri-food products.

In the past year, Slovenia exported to Türkiye the following agri-food products: wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal, coffee, tea, maté and spices, raw hides and skins (other than fur skins) and leather, and cocoa and cocoa preparations.

In the past year, Slovenia imported to Türkiye the following agricultural products: beverages, spirits and vinegar products, edible fruit and nuts, peel of citrus fruits or melons, fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates, edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers, wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal, as well as preparations of vegetables, fruit, nuts or other parts of plants.