Turkey and Azerbaijan
have agreed to make a preferential trade deal and its technical negotiations are underway now, a top Turkish official has said.
“In a bid to boost our economic cooperation, I want to remind that we agreed to sign a preferential trade agreement with Azerbaijan. The related technical talks are underway right now. We hope that the deal would be online soon and help to boost our bilateral trade ties,” said Turkish Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Özlü in a summit in Istanbul on Feb. 17, as quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency.
In the 5th Turkey-Azerbaijan-Georgia Business Forum, organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), he also noted that the works to make trade with their own currencies have also started, adding that Turkey made some 6.5 percent of its foreign trade in the Turkish Lira in 2016.
“In this vein, Turkish and Azeri technical delegations came together last month and exchanged their views to further surge bilateral trade. One of our targets is to boost our bilateral trade on the lira and the manat, thus protecting our businesspeople from fluctuations in the foreign exchange markets,” he added.
Özlü noted that Turkey wants to improve its economic and trade ties with Georgia. Some $1.3 billion was recorded last year with a 4.2 percent of increase compared to 2015, adding that Turkey had remained at top places in the country’s imports and exports since 2009.
He added that the free trade agreement, which was signed between the two countries in 2008, played a key role in the rise.
Özlü also emphasized on the significance of joint projects by Turkey, Azerbaijan
especially in the field of energy, including the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku Railway.