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Turkey targets boosting UAE trade volume to $50 bln

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Trade with TurkeyEconomy Minister Zafer Çağlayan on Monday said the current level of trade between the United Arab Emirates and Turkey has not reached its potential and that trade volume should be increased to $50 billion from its current $11.8 billion.

During his speech at a UAE-Turkish business forum in Abu Dhabi, Çağlayan urged the businessmen of both countries to make sure the friendship between the countries was reflected in their business relations. "The foreign trade volume of our countries combined is near $1 trillion, and although the current value of trade is significant, it is still not at a desired level. There is no reason for us not to bring this value to $50 billion," he said.

Noting that some countries had criticized Turkey for shifting its trade focus, Çağlayan argued that many of those countries who criticized Turkey in the past are now struggling to overcome major economic problems of their own. "By diversifying its market, Turkey increased its exports and continued improvement," the minister remarked.

Çağlayan mentioned the Turkish construction sector's success, ranked second in the world with projects worth $244 billion, and suggested to the businessmen in attendance at the Abu Dhabi conference that they take advantage of Turkey's know-how, talent and market advantage for their mutual benefit. He commented: "There is a high investment potential in Turkey that we would like you to take advantage of, where Saudis are also making major investments. We could also join our powers to carry out projects in third countries."

The economy minister recalled that UAE Trade Minister Sheikha Lubna al-Qasimi had told him when she first entered her post that Turkish TV series were changing the behavior and lifestyles of those watching them abroad. Çağlayan said this inspired him to provide support to the sector which now exports Turkish series and movies to 45 countries. He concluded, "Back then, one episode would be sold for $50,000. Now the price for an episode is $250,000."

Meanwhile, Minister al-Qasimi stated that the UAE sees Turkey as a strategic partner and that the country seeks to cooperate on business opportunities in third countries. Çağlayan also met in closed meetings with Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri and Nasser Ahmed Khalifa al-Suwaidi, chairman of the Department of Economic Development (DED), during his visit.

Original article from Today's Zaman