Belgium, Turkey to form economic body

Belgium, Turkey to form economic body

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Belgium, Turkey to form economic body

Belgian Foreign Minister Reynders is seen here. Reynders is expected to sign the joint trade commission agreement. EPA photo

Aiming to boost economic ties and further increase the current almost eight billion Euro trade volume, Turkey and Belgium will establish a join trade and economic commission during the Belgian economic mission’s trip to Turkey, between Oct. 15 and 19.

“We are expecting to give a boost to our trade and economic relations. A number of contracts between Turkish and Belgian companies will be signed during the visit,” Belgian Ambassador to Turkey Pol de Witte told reporters yesterday. An agreement on the establishment of the Joint Economic and Trade Commission will also be signed by Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and Belgian deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Trade Minister Didier Reynders.

Four-day visit to Turkey on Oct. 15-19

The large Belgian economic mission, led by Crown Prince Phillippe, will pay a four-day visit to Turkey with the participation of 193 companies, 320 businessmen and 42 public sector representatives, making it the largest Belgian mission travelling to a country in 2012. For Ambassador Witte the figures speak for themselves and underline the importance Belgian economic actors are giving to Turkey.
Turkey and Belgium have an almost eight billion euro trade volume. Home to nearly 200,000 Turks, Belgium sends nearly 600,000 tourists to Turkey every year.

The mission will hold meetings with President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara, as well as with Turkish business associations in Istanbul. Prince Phillippe will also meet with Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin to inform him about e-government implementations in Belgium and to give an opportunity to a number of Belgian companies known for their expertise in the field.

The visit will also allow companies from the two countries to cooperate in third countries, mostly in the Middle East and North Africa. “I think there is a room for deepening our cooperation in third countries,” Witte said, adding that Belgian companies were particularly interested in doing business in Palestine, Tunisia and Egypt.

Political issues

Though Prince Philippe’s visit will focus mainly on economic issues, the Belgian delegation’s meetings with Turkish government officials will also touch on ongoing political issues. Witte said senior officials from two countries’ foreign, justice and home affairs ministries will come together in November to discuss cooperation on issue like terrorism, migration, and the fight against organized crime. A meeting will then be held at the ministerial level in December.