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Serbia Sees $400 Million Al Dahra Investment in Food Production

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia and Abu Dhabi-based Al Dahra Agricultural Co. will form a company next month that will invest about 300 million euros ($409 Million) in producing, processing and exporting food from the Balkan country.

Serbia and the United Arab Emirates will first sign a bilateral framework agreement this month, the government said in an e-mailed statement, after Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic met in Belgrade with Khadim Abdulla Aldarei, a vice-chairman of Al Dahra Holding LLC.

The joint venture, 80 percent-owned by Al Dahra, may take over several state-owned agriculture companies in Serbia to help expand irrigation and boost farm output, according to the statement. Further financing, including loans for individual farmers may be arranged with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, whose officials are expected for talks in Belgrade next week, the ministry said.

Al Dahra may also invest in Pancevo river port near the Serbian capital, in five food processing plants and 40 million euros in Jugoslovensko Recno Brodarstvo AD, a Belgrade-based river shipper, the government said. The Abu Dhabi-based Royal Group is expected to open a bank in the capital Belgrade in several months, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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