Turkey, Kosovo set for free-trade deal

Turkey, Kosovo set for free-trade deal

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkey, Kosovo set for free-trade deal

AA photo

Turkish companies’ interest in Kosovo will increase with an imminent free-trade agreement, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Oct. 18.
Speaking at the Turkey-Kosovo Business and Investment Forum hosted by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) in Istanbul, Zeybekci said Kosovo had great importance for Turkey.      
“We are ready to give all manner of support to Kosovo [for it] to take part in international fairs and exhibitions. We do not desire a passive friendship,” said Zeybekci.        

Zeybekci said trade relations between the two countries were not ideal, as Turkey’s exports to Kosovo were worth around $250 million in 2015 and Kosovo’s exports to Turkey stood at just $9 million.      
During his speech, Zeybekci also said Turkish investments’ value in Russia had topped $10 billion.      
“In Egypt, the amount of Turkish investment is around $6 billion while it is $3 billion in Ethiopia where the number-one employer to 10,000 Ethiopians is a Turkish firm,” Zeybekci added.
Kosovar Trade Minister Hykmete Bajrami said there were over 700 Turkish firms operating in Kosovo’s energy, construction, healthcare and financial sectors.        

“According to the World Bank report, Kosovo stands at the rank of 66 among 189 countries in terms of availability for investments,” Bajrami added.        

 Bajrami said Kosovo was grateful for Turkey’s support. “I want to make a commitment in the name of the government of Kosovo that our doors will always be open to you to handle any problem or issue that has to be spoken.”       

Memoranda of understanding were subsequently signed between DEİK, Kosovo’s Investment and Enterprise Support Agency and the Kosovo-Turkey Chamber of Commerce.