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Closer ties between Belarus, Turkey to balance bilateral trade

MINSK, 30 October (BelTA) – The expansion of Belarus-Turkey cooperation will allow balancing bilateral trade, Deputy Industry Minister of Belarus Pavel Utyupin said at the talks of technical delegations of the two countries in Ankara on 30 October, BelTA has learnt.

The trade between Belarus and Turkey is making good progress. The export expands almost as fast as import. However, the cooperation potential is not used in full. I am convinced that we will be able to increase the trade dramatically and balance the bilateral trade between our countries,” the Deputy Industry Minister said.

Pavel Utyupin noted that Belarus and Turkey are not merely trading partners. The two countries are switching to a more advanced cooperation form, like mutual investments. “Work is underway to start joint manufacture of Belarusian products in Turkey, in particular, trucks. The parties consider a possibility to set up an assembly plant manufacturing Belarusian tractors,” he said.

The Deputy Industry Minister underlined that representatives of the two countries conducted many fruitful talks and established contacts on the level of government agencies and business communities. The Belarus-Turkey intergovernmental economic commission will be complemented by additional working groups that will focus on specific cooperation areas. For example, the first session of the working group on industrial and technological cooperation was held at the Belarusian Industry Ministry headquarters in September. “This is a rather efficient mechanism to maintain contacts. Such sessions allow identifying promising cooperation avenues,” Pavel Utyupin said.

Emine Sendil, Deputy Director-General of the General Directorate of Agreements, Ministry of Economy of Turkey, noted that Belarus and Turkey held many talks and signed many important documents. “We will keep expanding trade and economic cooperation between our countries using the existing legal framework. However, the expansion of trade and economic cooperation should result in closer contacts between the states,” she noted.

Belarus-Turkey trade and economic cooperation is gaining momentum. In 2012 the bilateral trade rose by 9.3% up to $454 million. The trend remains in place in 2013. Turkey’s investments into the Belarusian economy are also on the rise. Turkish construction companies successfully operate on the Belarusian market.

Emine Sendil informed that 138,000 Belarusian tourists visited Turkey in 2012. In January-August their number reached 149,000.