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Turkey Eyes FTA With Iraq

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

18 May 2010

The Turkish Finance Minister, Mehmet Simsek, speaking at a recent energy conference in Istanbul, called for negotiations to begin for the signing of a Free Trade Agreement with its southern trade partner, Iraq.

Simsek explained that the agreement would create a win-win situation between the two countries’ complementary economies. Noting that bilateral trade had now grown to USD5bn, he said it was time to engage in discussions towards removing barriers to trade.

“Turkish contractors engage in relatively larger-scale projects in Iraq. Turkey is playing a leading role in the rebuilding of the war-torn country. The signing of a free trade agreement would play a critical role in this regard,” he told the conference.

"We look at our relationship with Iraq within the framework of a win-win principle, and [Turkey] is determined to boost [its] relations with Iraq,” he added.

Simsek called upon the Iraqi government to embrace the idea, observing that it would be beneficial to both countries, identifying energy, trade, public works and the environment as major areas where bilateral cooperation could be enhanced. Simsek said Turkey would aid Iraq in its redevelopment, stating that a stronger Iraq would be of benefit to Turkey.

TAGS: tax | business | free trade agreement (FTA) | Iraq | trade | Turkey

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