Foreign and Military Affairs

China, Turkey hold forum to boost economic ties

Updated: 2010-10-20 11:21
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ISTANBUL - Some 150 participants from China and Turkey held a forum here Tuesday to explore trade opportunities in depth in a recent push to boost economic and trade relations.

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The Economy and Trade Forum was held as part of the "Experience China in Turkey," a two-week economic and cultural exposition showcasing China.

Wang Zhongwei, deputy director of China's State Council Information Office said that as two developing countries, it was important for China and Turkey to strengthen cooperation in economy, trade, transportation and communications.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao paid an official visit to Turkey earlier this month, during which he said Economic ties pave the way for cultural ties. "If we are saying economic exchange today, then we can say cultural exchange will come tomorrow," Wen said on October 9.

During Wen's visit, both parties had expressed a need to greatly increase trade, from the current $16 billion to $50 billion by 2015 and $100 billion by 2020.

Towards this end, Tuesday's forum brought together businesspersons and officials from both countries to discuss steps needed to further business ties, as well as obstacles to overcome.

Wang urged business people of the two countries to make investment in both countries and enhance cooperation in fields of transport, telecommunication, energy and other fields.

"The Chinese side is willing to provide support and assistance to Turkish enterprises in their endeavor to open up the Chinese market. Turkish investors are welcome to take part in developing west China," he said.

Husnu Ozyegin, chairman of the Turkish-Chinese Business Council, said that there were opportunities for cooperation in "virtually every sector."

In particular, he noted how important it was for both countries to implement academic exchange programs for young people to learn each others' language and culture better.

Vice Chairman of the Turkish Exporters Assembly Mustafa Cikrikcioglu said that the upcoming era is going to be "the era of China and Turkey," and greater cooperation between the two countries would only increase welfare for their respective citizens.

The forum also addressed the disparity between imports and exports between the two sides, and featured detailed presentations on such topics as foreign direct investment, road transportation relations and energy development.