Turkey, Japan should start ‘free trade talks’

Turkey, Japan should start ‘free trade talks’

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey and Japan should immediately start negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA), Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said at the Turkish-Japanese Business Council’s 20th joint meeting May 3. 

Çağlayan said he expected Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Turkey would contribute to the mutual investments and new cooperation in third countries. 

Çağlayan noted that last year’s trade volume between the two countries, at $3.9 billion, did not reflect their real potential. 

“As Turkey made $332 million of exports to Japan, Japan’s exports to Turkey were worth $3.6 billion last year,” said Çağlayan during the opening speech at the meeting.

“We should start negotiations today or tomorrow at the latest,” said Çağlayan. Turkey has signed FTAs with 19 countries. “An FTA between Turkey and South Korea came into force a couple of days ago,” he said, adding that South Korea had become more advantageous in the Far East than Japan.

Abe calms Istanbul Tokyo olympic race

ANKARA- Hürriyet Daily News

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he would be “the first to applaud” if rival Istanbul won the 2020 Olympic bid.

“As I have no doubt, Turkey would be the first to applaud if Tokyo wins,” he added, speaking at a press conference yesterday. Abe’s remarks came in an apparent effort to smooth over unease after the governor of Tokyo, Naoki Inose, suggested in an interview with The New York Times that Istanbul was less developed and less well-equipped.