British Ambassador to Turkey David Reddaway said on Monday the political cooperation between Turkey and Britain will be reflected by growth in bilateral business partnerships.
Speaking at a meeting held by the Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) to welcome representatives from the British railroad industry, Reddaway noted that British railroad players have been watching Turkey’s investments in railroad development with admiration. He said the number of bilateral partnerships will increase as a result of strong political cooperation between both countries and added that the British railroad industry is the fastest growing in Europe with its production capacity and infrastructure as well as engineering and consulting services.
Reddaway emphasized that the railroad industry in Britain is placing major importance on Turkish investments and has been looking forward to partnership opportunities to share its experience in the industry. He highlighted that Britain has been the main supporter of Turkey’s accession to the European Union and said, “Turkey will achieve major successes in near future.” With reference to the official visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gül to Britain at the end of November, he pointed out that for the first time a leader was welcomed in Britain with a light show that reflected colors of the country’s flag and added he hopes this warm relationship between the two countries leads to bilateral cooperation in the railroad industry. Turkish State Railways (TCDD) head Süleyman Karaman explained how all parts of the country will be made accessible via high-speed trains in addition to new lines for freight transportation. He indicated that a presentation will be made to the British delegation about the Turkish railroad industry. He said the trains will also be modified to run on electricity. Karaman noted that by connecting the Marmaray and Bakü-Tiblisi-Kars railroad lines, the historical Silk Road from Beijing to London will be re-established and said the government will continue its annual investment of $4.5 billion in railway projects. Since 2003, 1,076 kilometers of railroad were added to country’s railway network and another 1,630 kilometers in railway projects are expected to be completed by mid-2013. Currently, Turkey exports $8.2 billion to Britain and imports $5.8 billion.