Turkey

Top Turkish diplomat: 21st century to be Asia's century

Turkey launched Asia Anew initiative in 2019 to improve ties with Asian nations, says Mevlut Cavusoglu

Burak Bir   | 18.01.2021
Top Turkish diplomat: 21st century to be Asia's century

ANKARA 

The 21st century will be the "Asia's century," Turkey's foreign minister said Monday, underlining the continent's strategic importance and potential.

"The 19th and 20th centuries were the centuries of Europe and America, respectively. Today, all the data suggest that the 21st century will be the century of Asia," Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a virtual meeting organized by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) on new perspectives towards enhancing trade volume between Turkey and Asian countries.

Many countries act with the awareness of this fact, Cavusoglu stressed, citing various deals signed recently between European countries, such as the UK, and their Asian counterparts.

Noting that Turkey launched its Asia Anew initiative in 2019 to improve ties with Asian nations, he stressed that the initiative was especially significant on enhancing economic relations.

"We supported 33 Asian countries during the pandemic period and we brought medical supplies on vaccinations from countries like China and Japan," he said, referring to continuing ties between Turkey and Asia during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Turkey-Asia ties

Noting that Turkey had envoys in all 11 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he urged Laos and Myanmar to open embassies in the capital Ankara as they were the only nations in the bloc not to have done so.

Underlining the potential of ASEAN countries for Turkey, he said that, for example, in Indonesia, there were opportunities especially in the defense industry, as well as in the construction and health sectors. 

Cavusoglu also noted the potential of India, the second-most populous country in the world, saying it "has become a production center in South Asia with its rapidly growing its economy and dense population power."

"India, one of the largest economies in the world, has a great potential in defense industry and renewable energy. There are still important projects carried out by Turkish companies, such as subways, tunnels and a dam," he added.

Moving on to Pakistan, another country in the region that he said offers important opportunities, Cavusoglu underlined Turkey's close political relations with the country, especially in the defense industry, with more than 100 major Turkish companies operating in the country.

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