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Ankara invites fourth country to trade deal

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Trade with TurkeyTurkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia should involve a fourth country in their trilateral trade deals.

"Trade deals between three countries are not sufficient. We should be open to a fourth country together," Çağlayan said during the Turkey-Azerbaijan-Georgia Business Forum that was held for the third time in Gabala, Azerbaijan on May 25.

The main goal of the three countries should be to cooperate with a fourth country in the coming years, said Çağlayan. "Let's hold a business forum in a fourth country. It will bring many important market expansions and opportunities," he said.

"Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia created opportunity from the global economic crisis. Turkey showed an 8.8 percent growth, Georgia 7 percent, Azerbaijan 11 percent in 2011," he said, adding that Turkey became the second-fastest growing country in Europe with 2.2 percent last year. The trade volume of the three countries totaled $440 billion, he added.

The minister also stressed that these three countries were linked to the each other with energy lines and railways. "This is a three sea project: Caspian Sea, Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea. We pave the way to the business world through Atlas Ocean and Pacific Ocean. These alliances will affect us to achieve our goals," he said.

However, Çağlayan said that as Turkey's investments in Azerbaijan were worth $6.6 billion, Azerbaijan's investments in Turkey were worth $4 billion, stressing that the amount was not enough when regarding the two countries' populations, national incomes and foreign trade volume.

Original article from Hurriyet Daily News