Wen's visit to Turkey to boost bilateral relations

Updated: 2010-09-29 16:36
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ANKARA - Chinese ambassador to Turkey Gong Xiaosheng said on Tuesday Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming visit to Turkey will boost the two countries' relations to a new level.

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"We expect the Chinese-Turkish ties to have a new and better development and leap forward after Wen visits Turkey," Gong told a press briefing in the Turkish capital of Ankara. "As the two nations know more about and work more with each other, I believe there will be a great prospect for our cooperation."

Wen will pay an official visit to Greece, Belgium, Italy and Turkey from Oct 2 to 9, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu announced in Beijing on Monday.  

At the invitation of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Wen will start his visit to Turkey from Oct 7. He will meet Erdogan and Turkish President Abdullah Gul, said Gong.

Wen is expected to discuss with Turkish leaders on bilateral relations as well as the two countries' cooperation in major international issues, he said.

The two sides are also likely to sign eight to 10 agreements or documents on economic and cultural cooperation, covering fields of transportation, energy and communications, Gong told reporters.

China and Turkey have seen frequent visits of high-level officials in recent years, including Gul's visit to China in June last year.

The two countries saw their trade surge from more than $1 billion in 2000 to $12.6 billion in 2008 but drop 19.8 percent year-on-year to $10.08 billion in 2009 because of the global recession, figures from China's Foreign Ministry showed.

In 2009, China's exports to Turkey stood at $8.3 billion while imports from Turkey reached only $1.7 billion.

China doesn't want a huge trade surplus and has made great efforts to balance the trade ties, said Gong.

He noted the Chinese government has encouraged Chinese enterprises to import from and increase investment in Turkey, sent purchasing groups and boosted the number of Chinese tourists in Turkey.

"Around 50,000 Chinese tourists visited Turkey in 2008, while the current figure has exceeded 100,000," said Gong.

He also urged the Turkish government to carry out more promotional activities in China, increase Chinese people's understanding of Turkey and provide more convenience and preferential policies to encourage Chinese businesses to invest in the country.