SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The trade volume between Turkey and the Balkan countries has significantly increased over the past 15 years, head of Turkey's Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the 10th Sarajevo Business Forum (SBF), Rifat Hisarciklioglu said the trade volume rose to some $20 billion from around $3 billion despite the global economic crises.
"The Balkans is geographically Turkey's entrance into the European continent," he said. "In the same way, Turkey is a doorway to the markets of Asia and the Middle East."
Hisarciklioglu noted that there were over 100 Turkish companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, mainly doing business in the fields of banking, agriculture, manufacturing, construction and tourism.
"These companies' investments in Bosnia totaled more than €600 million [around $678 million] as they employ some 4,000 people.
"The free trade agreement between Turkey and Bosnia boosted the trade volume from $71 million in 2003 to the current levels of around $700 million," he said.
Hisarciklioglu said the two countries aim to increase the trade volume to at least $1 billion.
Commenting about the business forum, he noted that TOBB would continue to support the SBF in the coming years.
"This forum has been regularly held over the last decade and it has now become a global brand by attracting investors from all over the world," he said.
Anadolu Agency is the global communication partner for the three-day business conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina, dubbed the ‘Balkan Davos’, where Turkey plays a prominent role.
The forum, which has been held since 2010, is organized this year under the slogan of "one region-one economy".
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