Turkey-Mexico should raise trade to ‘$10 billion’

Turkey-Mexico should raise trade to ‘$10 billion’

ANKARA/ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Turkey-Mexico should raise trade to ‘$10 billion’

Turkish Minster of Technology Nihat Ergün (R) and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (2nd R) speaks at the Turkey-Mexico Business Forum. CİHAN photo

Turkish Minster of Technology Nihat Ergün said trade volume between Turkey and Mexico should increase significantly, and stressed the importance of signing free trade and visa liberalization agreements during the Turkey-Mexico Business Forum today. 

Ergün said the trade volume should rise from $1.2 billion to $5 billion in the short-term and $10 billion in the medium-term, following a framework agreement to start free trade deal negotiations signed on Dec. 17. 

He added that Turkey’s efforts to establish relations with every single country in the world yielded results in foreign trade. “Our exports that rose from $36 billion to $160 billion in the last 11 years are the result of this positive approach,” he said. Despite an ongoing economic crisis, Turkey could raise its exports thanks to entering new markets, he added.

Free trade deal, visa liberalization needed

“Mexico and Turkey drew the attention of the world with their economic performance in the last years. However, economic relations of these two countries aren’t enough. We advanced in bilateral relations; foreign trade volume between two countries rose from $128 million in 2002 to $1.2 billion today. But we don’t find it sufficient. We think that trade volume should increase to $5 billion in short-term and $10 billion in medium-term,” Ergün said.

The minister also said after 2009 global economic crisis, the importance of bilateral and multilateral cooperation between countries was realized, adding that every obstacle to economic activities adversely affected the global economy. He noted that they attached considerable importance to signing a free trade agreement with Mexico as well as to visa liberalization agreement. 

“While such an agreement exists between Mexico and the European Union, we believe that Turkey, which has a Customs Union Deal with the EU, should have equal conditions,” he said. 

Ergün recalled the Strategic Cooperation and Partnership Framework for the 21st Century had been signed by Turkish President Abdullah Gül and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto in Ankara on Dec. 17. Ergün said for Turkey it was very important that the two countries took steps to prevent double taxation and encourage mutual investments.

Speaking at the same event, Nieto said the two countries needed to take action for the free trade deal. He said they also signed agreements in the fields of protecting mutual investments, incentives, preventing double taxation, aviation to establish direct connections with Turkish Airlines and Mexican companies, science, technology, tourism, security and fighting against organized crime.