Turkey and Venezuela are eager to boost their current $150-million bilateral trade volume to $1 billion within a year, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said. Addressing Venezuelan business representative in the capital Caracas, Zeybekci said Turkey and Venezuela have great opportunities in trade and that they will carry out projects to turn these opportunities into a reality.
The economy minister said that a number of agreements in different sectors, particularly on bilateral economic partnership, mutual protection, encouragement of investments and the avoidance of double taxation, will likely be signed during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's upcoming visit to Venezuela.
"At the beginning of 2019, we will discuss more steps. Together we will create our own economy and purchasing power. We will pave the way for Turkish investors to invest in Venezuela," Minister Zeybekci said. "We will also improve collaborations in areas like banking, finance, technology, agricultural production, petrochemicals, defense, energy, machinery production and forestry," he added. "We will meet again in two weeks. In the meantime, some technical studies will be done. Jan. 23, which already holds a very important place in the history of Venezuela, will long remain in the memory of your country with the decisions we made here today."
Venezuela's Minister of Economy and Finance Simon Zerpa noted that they are pleased to bring together the businesspeople and that it will benefit any future agreements with Turkey.
He said Turkey and Venezuela share a good relationship and they have cooperated in important economy projects and will continue to do so.
"Turkey sat at the table on Jan. 23 so as to underscore its political solidarity with Venezuela," he said. Zerpa urged the Venezuelan exporters and investors to evaluate the market opened by Turkey and added that they will give all kinds of support and information to the exporters. "Everyone knows we suffer from the 'enemy' in the north. Our Venezuelan companies are exposed to many sanctions by the 'empire in the north,'" Zerpa said. "That's why we will concentrate on our businesses and improve trade between Turkey and Venezuela."
ISTANBUL / DAILY SABAH WITH AA