ANKARA — Turkey and the Central Asia's Turkic countries should boost cooperation to revive the "Silk Road," which was once the most influential trading route in the world, Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said Tuesday.
"Rebuilding the Silk Road which was used by our ancestors would be significant not only for Turkmenistan and Turkey, but also for the whole world," Berdimuhamedov told a joint press conference with Turkey's Parliament Speaker Cemil Çicek in Ankara.
Stressing the importance of natural gas which flows through all Turkic republics, the Turkmen president said the transport line that links Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey offered significant opportunities for economic cooperation.
For his part, Çicek said the historical and cultural bonds between Turkey and Turkmenistan presented a big advantage for developing strong economic and commercial relations.
Turkey and Turkmenistan are set to remove obstacles to free trade between the two countries this year, Turkey's Economy Minister has said.
Nihat Zeybekçi told the Turkmenistan-Turkey Business Forum on Tuesday that the move will establish an extensive trade agreement by 2015.
The forum in Ankara, held by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), hosted top officials from Turkey and Turkmenistan governments including Zeybekci and Turkmenistan's Deputy Prime Minister for Trade, Palvan Taganov.
Zeybekçi praised Turkmenistan's investments and businessmen, saying he felt proud seeing Turkish investors and investments becoming Turkmenistan's own during his visit to Turkmenistan last year.
Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister for Trade Palvan Taganov said the annual trading volume with Turkey had reached $5 billion, adding the trade volume for the first quarter of 2014 had increased by 165 percent compared to the same period in 2013.