Japan, Turkey to conclude FTA this year, Japanese envoy says


Japanese ambassador to Ankara Akio Miyajima said that Turkey and Japan are looking to accelerate negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA), explaining that concluding the agreement is a priority for Japan."The next round of FTA negotiations might be held in April, and we hope that with this ninth round of negotiations we can make further progress," Miyajima told Daily Sabah on Wednesday.

He said that Japan has concluded FTAs with the EU and completed negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement."Our next priority is Turkey. We are aiming to complete the substantial part this year. As we will host the G20 summit and G20 trade ministers meeting next year, we would like to be ready.

"Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci is set to visit Japan next week. I hope that he can make a good push vis-a-vis the Japanese side for further progress."

The eighth round of negotiations for the FTA was held in Ankara from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. The FTA was launched with an initiative from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2014. Commenting on the agreement, Turkish officials previously said that it would provide new opportunities for both sides and further enhance economic ties.Miyajima said that Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Turk Eximbank signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on projects.

"As an ambassador, I can try to help facilitate those positive developments," he said.

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