Turkey and Germany signed a Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) agreement in the capital Ankara on late Thursday.
The deal aims to improve bilateral trade, investment and cooperation in the fields of industry, energy and tourism.
Bilateral trade and economic cooperation will gain momentum in the upcoming period "for sure," Turkey's Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said at the meeting. "We had a chance to discuss concrete suggestions with the German minister. I am glad to see that the German and Turkish business circle also shares similar views," Pekcan added.
Pekcan, who noted that both ministers exchanged views on investment opportunities in other countries, said a possible cooperation between Türk Eximbank and Germany's Euler Hermes was also discussed. "We will continue to contribute to bilateral relations between the two countries by launching more projects," she said.
She recalled that more than 7,000 German companies operate in Turkey. Noting that the amount of German firms' investments in Turkey is $9.3 billion, Pekcan said: "I believe that German investments in Turkey will increasingly continue, considering Germany's total amount of foreign direct investments [in the world] of $1.2 trillion in the last decade."
For his part, German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier said the meeting aimed to establish bilateral ties on a "new ground."
Altmaier underlined that meetings should not be held only at the ministerial level but also with the participation of sectoral representatives and parliament members on a regular basis.
He also added that the EU can learn from Turkey's digitalization in customs.
Praising Turkish economic growth potential, Altmaier said economic ties can be improved without customs walls.
"Turkey is currently at a point of transformation in many areas. For example, there is a transformation in the field of renewable energy. There is also a serious growth rate in the economy. You cannot see this growth rate in other countries. Therefore, we are proud of these developments. We can say that with our support and our cooperation, we have a share in the developments here," Altmaier noted.
Altmaier was accompanied by a group of businesspeople, including chief executives from German business giants Siemens, SAP and EON, as well as representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Turkey's exports to Germany, which is the top export market of the country, stood at $10.64 billion while its import from the country was $14.14 billion in the first eight months of this year, Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data reveals. In 2017, bilateral trade volume between the two countries totaled at $36.4 billion, up by 2.7 percent from the previous year.
Turkey attracted a huge amount of foreign direct investment - around $5.43 billion - from Germany between 2010 and 2017, while the figure was nearly $175 million in January-July this year.
The country's main exports groups consist of road vehicles, parts and accessories for motor vehicles and parts for use with piston engines to Germany, while it purchases road vehicles, medicines and parts and accessories for motor vehicles from Germany.
Relations between Ankara and Berlin suffered several setbacks over the past years, but both sides have taken steps in recent months towards improving ties.
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