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ENERGY >Turkey starts nuclear talks with China

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Ankara and Beijing will start talks on a planned Turkish nuclear power plant soon, says Deputy PM Ali Babacan. The two countries may also develop stronger banking ties, he says during Chinese Vice President Xi’s visit to Istanbul , noting that Turkey’s doors were wide open for Chinese banks.

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China’s Xi (R) shakes hand with Minister Çağlayan at a meeting in Istanbul.DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

China’s Xi (R) shakes hand with Minister Çağlayan at a meeting in Istanbul.DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

    Gökhan KurtaranGökhan Kurtaran[email protected]

    Turkey and China will soon start talks for building the third nuclear power plant in the northwestern region of the country, said Turkey’s vice deputy prime minister in Istanbul yesterday at a meeting with the vice president of China, noting that Turkey’s doors were wide open for Chinese banks.

    “We will start the talks with Chinese authorities and officials regarding nuclear energy,” said Ali Babacan responding to the questions of journalists after the Turkish-Chinese Business Forum attended by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping. 

    Noting that Turkey has a target of having a total of three nuclear power plants by 2023, “The talks would focus on building the country’s third plant” in İğneada, a small town in the northern province of Kırklareli, said the minister. 

    “Whether talks with Chinese authorities would be for the third or the second power plant depends on the developments of our talks with Japan,” said Babacan, adding the country had recently restarted negotiations with South Korea as well. 

    “Our doors are wide open for Chinese banks as long as the Chinese banks would fully comply with the criteria of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency [BRSA],” said Babacan in response to a Hürriyet Daily News question, noting that authorities in both countries were working on licensing the applications. 

    The Bank of China had already opened an Istanbul office, Babacan said. “It would be beneficial to open a Turkish bank in China, [state-owned] Ziraat Bank or any other bank to operate in China.” 
    BRSA officials will start talks with Chinese authorities regarding the issue, he added. 

    $1.4 billion worth of deals

    “Turkish and Chinese companies signed 29 business and trade deals worth $1.4 billion,” said Xi at the forum organized by the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM). 

    “Turkey has become an attractive dynamic of its region, playing an active role in regional issues,” said Xi, addressing Chinese and Turkish businessmen. There has been a remarkable increase in trade volume between the two counties, Xi added. 

    In the last 10 years Chinese firms signed construction deals exceeding $10 billion in Turkey, he said, adding that Turkey and China should be working toward strengthening “strategic cooperation.” 

    China Machinery Engineering Corporation and Yıldırım Energy signed a deal worth $2.8 billion for building 200 megawatt thermal plants in the southeastern province of Elazığ. 

    The Export Import Bank of China signed an agreement to provide $70 million for Global Investment’s $100 million project to build four bulk carriers with a capacity of 35,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT) with Avic Weihai Shipyard. China Development Bank Cooperation granted $5 billion for Türk Telekom’s network expansion project. 

    ‘One-sided love’

    “Trade relations with China are very important for us, but this seems to be a one-sided love,” said Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan at the meeting, noting the increasing trade deficit that Turkey posts.

    Turkey and China aim to reach a total of $50 billion bilateral trade volume by 2015 and $50 billion by 2020. 

    Turkey’s exports to China rose to $2.46 billion last year from $2.26 billion, while imports from China jumped to $21.7 billion last year from $17.1 billion. 

    February/23/2012

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