Turkey, Belarus eye strong economic ties

By Merve Ozlem Cakir

MINSK, Belarus

Turkey desires to strenghten economic ties with Belarus by smoothing the way for investors, Development Minister Lutfi Elvan said Wednesday. 

“Let both Turkish and Belarusian companies win, get into partnerships and invest in third countries,” Elvan said during his meeting with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei in capital Minsk.

Pointing to both countries’ position as “gateways to Europe”, Elvan said it was significant to benefit from this potential, and ensured that the necessary steps would be taken to “swiftly” smooth the way for businesses.

Turkey wants to cooperate with Belarus in local and regional development strategies, the minister said, adding they were also open to public-private partnerships, recalling successful examples in transportation and health sectors.

Trade volume between Turkey and Belarus rose to $460.1 million in 2016, up from $454.6 million in 2012, according to Turkish Statistical Institute.

Makei, for his part, said that Belarus and Turkey could cooperate in EU and Eurasia markets.

Belarus is enthusiastic about enhancing the current cooperation between the two countries, he said. 

“We think we can cooperate in areas such as manufacturing road construction and farm equipment,” he noted.

“The Foreign Ministry of Belarus would be your best partner in providing a more feasible investment environment for Turkish businesspeople,” Makei said.

Elvan also met with Belarus’ Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov and Economy Minister Vladimir Zinovskiy separately.

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