Turkey eyes reaching $30B in bilateral trade with Italy

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Ankara: Turkey wants to increase its bilateral trade volume with Italy, which is currently around $20 billion to $30 billion (TL 157.33 billion to TL 236 billion), as quickly as possible, Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said Thursday. Pekcan was speaking during the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting where the second term protocol was inked between the two countries.
The meeting, which saw the participation of Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Luigi Di Maio along with various company representatives, was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Underlining that there is a balanced bilateral trade with Italy, Pekcan stressed that the country is one of the most important trade partners of Turkey and the fact that it ranks third in the country’s exports and fourth in the imports demonstrates the strategic importance of Italy and the value Ankara attaches to commercial relations with Rome.
Italy is Turkey’s second-largest trade partner among European Union members, while it stands among the top five worldwide. Pekcan noted that Ankara “sees Italy as a strategic partner not only in trade but also in mutual investments, and that “we can carry out new projects based on the common benefit by using different opportunities together.”
The minister noted that Turkey, along with its young and well-educated population, has a strong and dynamic production infrastructure.
“We are improving our production experience day by day, giving importance to innovation, added value and design. This means joint investment, joint business and joint trade opportunities in many sectors for Italian and Turkish companies,” Pekcan emphasized.
There are currently more than 1,500 Italian companies operating in Turkey. She added that despite the pandemic conditions, Italian Minister Di Mario’s visit to Turkey on June 19 and the JETCO preparation meeting held in July were important developments in the bilateral ties of the two countries. Thursday’s meeting took those efforts one step further, Pekcan said, as various cooperation issues at the official and technical level were discussed. – PNP