France, Turkey pledge to foster economic ties

France, Turkey pledge to foster economic ties

France, Turkey pledge to foster economic ties

Turkish President Abdullah Gül delivers a speech at Turkish-French Business Forum, adressing business leaders and French President François Hollande. AA Photo

French President François Hollande’s landmark Turkey visit has pumped a fresh impetus into the nations’ economic ties that have already been on a mending track particularly after a key nuclear partnership deal.

Scores of agreements between Turkish and French parties inked over the past two days and a vast business forum that witnessed business representatives of both parties having close contacts have also sealed the determination of sides to boost long-neglected ties.

Speaking at the Turkish-French Business Forum held in Istanbul on Jan. 28, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said Turkey was ready to enter into a cross-industry partnership with France in order to build a better relationship between the two countries.

“Turkey is ready to cooperate with France in every field of industry, including steam power plants and alternative energy sources, as well as tourism, culture, and education,” Anadolu Agency quoted Gül as saying in his address to businessmen.

“Bilateral relations between Turkey and France have been interrupted because of some issues not quite related to the very nature of our relations which also affected negatively our economic cooperation,” he admitted.

“Therefore, we need to return to our nature again,” he continued, praising Hollande’s visit as a beginning of this new period.

Speaking at the same meeting, Hollande expressed his country’s desire to recover economic relations with Turkey as well, urging businessmen of both nations to make efforts to help elevate trade volume between countries to the desired level, which was 20 billion euros, according to him.

Currently the trade between Turkey and France is around the 12 billion euros level and there are 450 French companies operating in Turkey.

Hollande also expressed his regrets over declining French investment in Turkey, which dropped to 3 percent of total investments in 2012, down from 6 percent 2002, vowing to reverse this situation.