Turkish Delegation Describes Iraqi Visit `Successful’
A Turkish foreign trade delegation headed by Foreign Trade Undersecretary Kursad Tuzmen, described its visit to Baghdad as successful, pointing out that both countries signed a business contract worth $250 million, reported the Turkish Daily News.
Head of the delegation, Kursad Tuzmen, said at the end of the four-day visit, that the meetings focused on ways of expanding cooperation in the fields of trade, agriculture and irrigation, transportation and finance.
Stressing that Turkey should strive to make up its 11 years of economic losses, Tuzmen said: "We need crude oil and there is oil in Iraq. They need some durable goods and industrial products that we have. So there is a great opportunity to boost economic relations between the two countries."
Tuzmen indicated that Turkey could increase exports to Iraq from $375 million to $1 billion this year if the necessary steps were taken, according to the daily.
"When we look at the US, it carries out 70 percent of its foreign trade with its neighbors while in Germany it’s 80 percent. Foreign trade between Turkey and its neighbors only constitutes 8 percent of Turkey's foreign trade. So we once again should consider trading with neighboring countries," Tuzmen said.
Turkish trade with Iraq, its fourth-largest trade partner before the Gulf War, has dropped sharply from $2.5 billion annually in the early 1990s and is governed by a UN deal that allows Baghdad to buy food and medicine with the proceeds of oil sales.
Meanwhile, Tuzmen arrived in Amman Sunday for talks with Jordanian officials on ways to boost economic tries between the two countries, reported the official Petra news agency.
The minister, heading a delegation of government officials and businessmen, said his visit aims at finding ways to increase Jordan's exports of phosphate and cement to Turkey , which reached last year ten million dollars.
The agency said that a joint committee will be held in Ankara in May – Albawaba.com
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