Economic and trade co-operation between Turkey and Serbia is still relatively new: at the beginning of the new millenium in 2000, official trade relations between the two countries were virtually not existing.
One sector that was already thriving at that time was tourism: Serbian tourists were increasingly discovering and enjoying the many advantageous holiday options at Turkish beaches and landscapes. All other sectors of the economy, however, still needed to be developed.
Two milestones marked the start of upwards economic development between Turkey and Serbia:
On March 13, 2006, Turkish Airlines, the flagship carrier of the Turkish republic, started nonstop flights between Istanbul and Belgrade, increasing the flight options that already existed with JAT, the national carrier of the Republic of Serbia (which was renamed into Air Serbia in 2013).
In June 2010, Serbia canceled the visa requirement for Turkish citizens.
This significantly increased the flow of travellers between the two capitals and the two countries, for both business and leisure purposes.
At the same time, Turkey and Serbia signed the first Free Trade Agreement between the two countries, providing the base for trade on solid and regulated grounds.
Between 2010 and 2015, more and more Turkish companies started looking into business development options in Serbia. Many Turkish exporters started sending their goods and services to Serbia, often using Serbia as a gateway to the neighbouring countries. Also more and more Turkish corporations started examining investment options in Serbia.
2016 was the first year with a very high business development intensity between Turkey and Serbia. More and more Turkish investors came to Serbia to open factories, logistics facilities and retail outlets. At the same time, more and more Serbian companies started exporting their goods to Turkey and to use Turkey as an entry point to the Middle East.