Turkey, Hungary aim to boost trade to $5 billion
ANKARA – Anadolu AgencyTurkey aims to increase annual trade volume with Hungary to $5 billion, Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Özlü has said.
“Hungary is an important trade partner for Turkey. Last year, the mutual trade volume was over $2 billion. Our goal is to increase this up to $5 billion, and we will meet this goal in the very near future,” Özlu said at a Turkey-Hungary Joint Economic Commission meeting in Ankara on March 3.
Özlu said that in 2016, Turkey’s exports to Hungary increased by 17 percent to $832 million compared to the previous year, while its imports stood at $1.3 billion in 2015.
He added that Hungary supported Turkey regarding the update of the Customs Union agreement with the EU, and that bilateral relations would be further enhanced once challenges facing Turkish road transport companies were resolved. He also called for a joint commission meeting in this regard.
Turkish officials have repeatedly criticized free trade agreements signed by the EU with other countries, such as the U.S., which would effectively open Turkey’s market to exports from such states, with no reciprocity.
Despite not being a member of the EU, Turkey has been a member of the Customs Union agreement since 1995.
Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto, for his part, said the Turkish economy kept growing while the EU lost its competitiveness.
He called for “much closer” ties between the EU and Turkey. “Hypocrisy and political incorrectness move Turkey away from the EU,” he added.
Szijjarto also called for boosting the trade volume between Turkey and Hungary up to $5 billion, calling on Turkish businesses to invest in Hungary.
“As Hungary, we will continue to offer help [to Turkey] as much we can, as long as the EU does not grant visa exemption to Turkey. We are also open to solving transportation problems. Favorable conditions for both sides will be developed through mutual concessions,” he said.
Turkish and Hungarian ministers later signed a protocol set to move forward cooperation in trade, joint operations in third countries, industrial and technical sectors and banking.