Bilateral relations, established more than 120 years ago, have improved remarkably in recent years, with a very high degree of mutual understanding.
Maintaining its "strict but fair" attitude in the fulfillment of criteria for EU accession, the Netherlands has been providing very important assistance in Serbia’s euro-integration process, through different bilateral and multilateral programs (PSO-M, MATRA, G2G etc.). The Netherlands is the 5th biggest donor out of 27 EU member states, and the 9th on the list of the donor countries from the entire world.
In recent years, there has been several bilateral visits - Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior I.Dačić paid a visit to the Netherlands in April 2012 and Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration S.Grubješić visited The Netherlands in November the same year. Dutch Foreign Minister F.Timmermans visited Serbia in October 2013 and in May 2014.
During his last visit to Serbia, Dutch Foreign Minister F.Timmermans had successful and fruitful talks with Prime Minister A.Vučić and Foreign Minister I.Dačić. It was mutually agreed that there was a room for further expansion of economic cooperation and particularly for the arrival of a greater number of Dutch investors to Serbia. During his visit to Serbia, Minister F.Timmermans opened the Novi Sad Agricultural Fair, together with Minister I.Dačić, where The Netherlands participated as a partner country. He was accompanied by the Dutch business delegation which participated in the Agricultural Fair as well.
Parliamentary cooperation between Serbia and The Netherlands has been improved as well. A delegation of the National Assembly of Serbia visited the Dutch Parliament in October 2009 and the members of the Committee for European Affairs of the Dutch Parliament visited Serbia in May 2011. The aim of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Netherlands in Serbian Parliament is to foster and maintain friendship between two countries.
From 2005 to October 2013 the Netherlands invested approximately 942 million EUR to Serbia, which is 7,7% of the total investments. The Netherlands was the 6th most important investor in our country. Serbia is attractive for Dutch SMEs, thanks to favorable geographic position, customs free access to 15% of the world markets, a highly qualified, hard working and skilled work force, competitive tax rates and low costs.
The Netherlands is an important trade partner, even though our bilateral trade (around 350 million euros per year) still doesn't correspond to our potentials and possibilities. Dutch investments could take more advantage of the potentials of our country and the compatibility of the two economies with a strong focus on agribusiness, food and life sciences sectors. The potentials for further strengthening have just started to be exploited.
The cooperation of our two countries in agriculture field is very developed, primarily because of the complementarities of the two countries, which is why the Serbia has been selected as one of the seven partners of The Netherlands in the agriculture sector. High Level Working Group on agricultural cooperation between Serbia and the Netherlands regularly meets in order to foster the cooperation.
The Netherlands and Serbia have established close cooperation in the field of renewable energy. The result of consultations through intergovernmental cooperation program "G2G" conducted by the "NL Agency" is our "National Action Plan for Renewable Energy", from February 2013.
There is a growing interest in the Netherlands for Serbia as a tourist destination. Last year, 14,000 tourists from The Netherlands visited Serbia.