Turkish premier calls for greater cooperation with China (A.A.10 April 2012)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said Turkey and China should join forces for greater cooperation.




"As the two countries that built great civilizations on the opposite ends of the Asia, Turkey and China could create a fresh synergy to develop intense cooperation in economy, international politics, and social and cultural life," Erdogan told Turkey-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum meeting in Beijing as part of his visit to China.

Erdogan said Chinese investments in Turkey remained fairly low over the past decade, pointing out that Turkey offered great opportunities for foreign investors especially with the latest economic stimulus package.


The Turkish premier said Turkey was gateway to European markets, adding that a four-hour flight from Istanbul, Turkey's major commercial hub, gave access to 50 countries and a vast geography that housed one-fourth of the global trade.


"Our doors are wide open for Chinese businesspeople. We are offering strong support for strategic investments such as defense, aerospace, technology, transportation and textiles. I am hoping that Chinese investors will show interest in our stimulus package," Erdogan said.


Erdogan said Turkey and China could also cooperate in the construction sector which he said saw the two countries shared the top two spots among the biggest construction companies in the world with 54 Chinese and 33 Turkish firms.


Erdogan said Turkish-Chinese trade volume in 2011 was 24 billion USD, however, added that only a ten percent of the total figure constituted Turkey's exports to China which equaled 2.5 billion USD.


"We need an urgent solution to that disparity. And businesspeople will have a big role to play to that end," Erdogan said.


Erdogan also said Turkey and China had agreed to increase their bilateral trade volume to 50 billion USD in 2015 and to 100 billion USD in in 2020.

 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday met with Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Wang Qishan in Beijing.The meeting was held closed to news media.Erdogan is the first Turkish premier to ever visit China in 27 years.