Trade with Russia should reach $100B: Minister

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Turkey and Russia‘s bilateral trade should reach the target jointly adopted by the two countries’ leaders of $100 billion “as soon as possible”, the Turkish trade minister said on July 26.

The two countries’ bilateral trade, which was $33.3 billion in 2012, stood at $25.7 billion in 2018, Ruhsar Pekcan said during the 16th TurkeyRussia Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting, in the Mediterranean resort city Antalya.

Turkey‘s exports to the country were $3.4 billion, while its imports were $22.3 billion, Pekcan said, underlining that trade between the countries should be balanced.

“There is serious potential [between Russia and Turkey], the governments are ready to provide all support to business people,” she said.

Russia imports house appliances, freezers, construction materials, furniture, ready-made clothes and medicine from the world, Pekcan underlined, adding: “Turkey exports all of these products to the world with the most competitive prices.”

Urging the increase of trade with indigenous currencies, she noted that Russia conducted 12% of its exports and 0.5% of its imports in this manner.

“We expect Russia contribute to increasing trade with local currencies,” she noted.

The two countries’ bilateral investments is currently around $20 billion, she added, stressing that there was a large potential in this area as well.

Lauding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to lift visa requirements for Turkish holders of certain passports, Pekcan called for a return to the visa-free regime of 2015.

For his part, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, said bilateral trade between Turkey and Russia was $10 billion in the first five months of 2019.

There is a greater potential between the two countries, which have good relations, he added.

He also said their bilateral investment amount — $20 billion — was not enough.

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