By Merve Ozlem Cakir
Turkey and India need to work together to establish balanced and sustainable trade ties, Ruhsar Pekcan, the Turkish trade minister, said on Tuesday.
Turkey and India's bilateral trade volume reached $8 billion in the first 11 months of 2018, up from $7 billion in all of 2017, she noted on a visit to the capital New Delhi.
"India's exports to Turkey exceeded Turkey's exports to India," she told the Turkey-India Business Forum, organized by Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board.
Last year, Turkey's exports to India amounted to $758.6 million, while India's to Turkey totaled $6.2 billion, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
This year, around 10-15 percent of bilateral trade was done by Turkey, while India accounted for the rest, said TurkStat.
During her India visit, Pekcan also met with Suresh Prabhu, India’s commerce, industry
She underlined that such bilateral meetings would strengthen and expand the two countries’ trade and economic ties.
National currencies, investment opportunities
Touching on using national currencies for trade, bypassing the dollar and euro, she highlighted that India uses national currencies with some countries, and it could do the same with Turkey.
She also said representatives of the two countries will meet to update bilateral investment agreements.
"With the convenience provided by visas and the number of flights rising, bilateral trade and tourism ties will increase," she said.
Turkey provides unique opportunities for investors worldwide with its developed and qualified workforce, stable and regular environment, investment incentive system, investor-friendly policies, and strategic geographic position, Pekcan stressed.
"Indian companies should see Turkey as a production base to enter the European market," she added.