World / Europe

Turkey can serve as bridge linking China, Europe: minister

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-09-05 09:06

HANGZHOU - Turkey can serve as a bridge connecting China and Europe, especially in terms of logistics, Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci said here Sunday.

Speaking at a business summit on the sidelines of the 11th Group of 20 (G20) summit, he also expressed interest in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying that his country has been paying close attention to and hopes to take part in the program.

The CPEC is part of the initiative on the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (the Belt and Road Initiative), which was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. It is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.

The Turkish minister spoke highly of the initiative, noting that the ancient Silk Road has played a vital role in exchanges between countries.

Moreover, the minister stressed the need to promote inter-connectivity in transport, human resources and information, adding that removing trade barriers is also of crucial importance.

Turkey is a founding member of the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It signed a memorandum of understanding with China in November 2015 on the harmonization of the Belt and Road Initiative with Turkey's Middle Corridor project, a proposed regional transportation network between Turkey and China.

In their meeting on Saturday, Xi and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed to advance cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, energy and counter-terrorism.

The two sides, Xi suggested, should work out concrete measures and projects to link the Belt and Road Initiative with Turkey's development strategy.

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