FTA to boost mutual investments with Brazil

January 23, 2010, Saturday/ 16:34:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergün has called for a bilateral free trade agreement between Brazil and Turkey, noting that the Turkish government supports investors who are looking to increase economic relations between the two countries.

Speaking at a product launch in San Paolo yesterday, Ergün called for commercial cooperation between the two nations to bring the dismal $1.7 billion bilateral trade volume up to $10 billion. Highlighting that Turkey was able to increase its total exports from $36 billion to $132 billion in the span of five years, Ergün noted that Brazil had a comparable annual export volume, totaling some $150 million. “This is not enough, not for Turkey, nor for Brazil. The investments flowing between the two nations are definitely not enough as there are many areas where we can form partnerships. It is possible to form a partnership between two of the most strategic nations in the world, especially in the field of machinery, motor vehicles and air travel,” the minister said.

Explaining that a free trade agreement would lead to increased marketing of products between the two nations, he added that such an agreement would mean “increased Brazilian investment in Turkey and increased Turkish investment in Brazil.” Noting that there are various sectors where mutual investment could be boosted, he said: “Partnerships and investments in the automotive, mining, petroleum and construction sectors are possible. The lifting of double taxation, a free trade agreement and agreements to ease customs requirements between the two nations will bring our trade volume up to $10 billion in the near future.”

Stressing that the greatest wealth of a nation lies in its entrepreneurs, Ergün stated that politicians must support businesspeople and lift barriers to their investments. He added that legal and practical discrimination against foreign businesspeople had been abolished and that Brazilians looking to invest in Turkey would not have any disadvantage compared to other domestic or foreign actors. He expressed his hope that Brazilian businesspeople would take advantage of this opportunity.

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