Turkey and Poland seek to boost trade to $10 billion
“Bilateral trade, currently worth $6 billion, should rise to $10 billion. We should prioritize banking, automotives, energy, textiles and health tourism,” Erdoğan told a business forum following a joint press meeting with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda on Oct. 17.
“We have signed five deals with Poland. Turkish Airlines currently provides five flights to Poland per week but this fails to meet the demand. A Turkish Airlines team will be here soon to request permission for more flights,” he said, adding that this will help increase the number of tourists in both countries.
Erdoğan was accompanied by a large delegation including Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, EU Minister Ömer Çelik, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli and Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci.
Meanwhile, the Turkish president also complained that the EU has so far sent Turkey only 885 million euros, less than a third of the 3 billion euros pledged in the refugee deal signed in 2015.
Under the EU-Turkey deal, which came into effect in March last year and has largely halted the tens of thousands of migrants crossing from Turkey to Europe, Brussels promised to speed up the allocation of 3 billion euros of aid money.
The agreement also contained provisions for Turkish nationals to access the Schengen passport-free zone and for the revitalization of Turkey’s EU membership bid, if Ankara took steps in a number of democratic criteria.
However, there has been little movement on either as relations between Ankara and many EU member states have grown increasingly frosty in the wake of last year’s defeated coup attempt.
“I always say this: Let us know if you are not going to accept us. You should not waste our time and we should not waste your time. Let’s finalize this,” Erdoğan said in Warsaw.
“They cannot make their decision on this but we are saying: ‘We will not be the one to leave the table.’ We are waiting for their decision,” he added.
Turkey hosts around 3.2 million Syrian refugees and Erodğan has said the country has spent “more than $30 billion” on helping and sheltering them since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
EU leaders are due to meet on Oct. 19 for a key summit, during which the future of relations with Turkey will be discussed.