ANKARA -- A senior Turkish treasury official said Tuesday that he backs an even stronger economic ties between China and his country.
Over the past two years, China has been Turkey's second largest source of imports. Last year saw China's exports to Turkey reached $24 billion, ten percent the country's total imports, said Cavit Dagdas, undersecretary of treasury.
He told an interview with Xinhua ahead of his trip to the upcoming Boao Forum later this month in China's southern island province of Hainan that despite the fact that Turkey's exports to China is only below three billion dollars, he expected the number will rise in the near future.
Ankara chairs the G20 Summit this year and will hand over the chair to Beijing next year, Dagdas told Xinhua, adding that Turkey will continue to work with Chinese partners throughout next year to focus on some of the priorities in the global economy.
Speaking of China's Silkroad initiatives, Dagdas said the efforts to integrate all Asian countries into the global economy is crucial for sustainable and inclusive growth, adding that in this respect, Turkey supports East-West integration projects in the fields of transportation and trade in Asia.
The official said Turkey's Rail Tube Tunnel project in Istanbul is making up for the missing link in the "Iron Silk Road," which links Eastern Asia and Europe.
He also said that the Edirne-Kars Railway Project, which crosses Turkey from East to West, is another key project, adding that once Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway project becomes operational, an uninterrupted railway line will thus connect London to Beijing.
Dagdas said these projects will increase the access of Asian countries to the Western countries, while Turkey's trade relations with Asia will definitely be boosted.
On global economic governance, he said Turkey supports the view that all international finance institutions should reflect the new dynamics of the global economy, while low income nations and emerging economies should have louder voice in these institutions.
"I am sure that China and Turkey will cooperate more on this issue," he added.
"The African region has extensive infrastructure needs. Many Turkish contractors are working in the region. Chinese companies are also active in the region. I am sure that our rising powers will continue to support the development efforts of the African region," he added.
Both Turkey and China are members of the African Development Bank Group, and their mutual efforts will contribute significantly to addressing the development challenges to the African countries, he said.
Dagdas said that with its strong and prolonging growth performance since the last two decades, Asia has become major driving force of the global economy, adding that this region has to utilize its past accomplishments and channel its resources towards more sustainable, inclusive and environmental friendly growth for the regional economies.
In particular, shifting from cost competitive economy to the knowledge economy has utmost importance. Lack of infrastructure is also one of the main challenges facing the region, he added.
He believed that the Boao Forum will provide a crucial platform for various fruitful discussions on these issues, hoping that this forum will be a successful and efficient platform for the Asia's new future.
The Boao Forum for Asia is a non-governmental and non-profit international organization founded in 2001. The forum works to promote regional economic integration and bring Asian countries closer to their development goals.