Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan plan to increase the volume of mutual trade up to $20 billion, said Turkey’s Deputy Economy Minister Fatih Metin at the 5th Turkey-Azerbaijan-Georgia business forum in Istanbul Feb. 17.
Metin said that a business forum in such a format is important not only for the development of economic cooperation, but also for rapprochement of the three countries in social sphere. The deputy economy minister noted that Ankara works on elimination of obstacles in the trade among Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
“An agreement on free trade between Turkey and Georgia and the discussion of an agreement on preferential trade between Turkey and Azerbaijan open big opportunities for the development of business relations among the three countries,” he said.
The structure of economies of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan is interchangeable: via research and innovative potential of Turkey, natural and geographical opportunities of Georgia and strong energy infrastructure of Azerbaijan it is possible to start several joint initiatives, which will contribute to the development of industrial cluster in all three countries, added the Turkish minister.
During the period of radical transformation of the global economic system, the regional dialogue is extremely important, said Rona Yircali, a member of Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK).
“We, as three neighboring countries, should work together for the continuation of economic development in our region. Development of economy will bring peace and prosperity to the region,” noted Yircali. “The effective cooperation among Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia can be an example for other countries.”
He added that currently, the trade turnover among Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia totals $4.2 billion.
The Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey business forum, organized with the support of the Azerbaijan Export and Investments Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), will also be attended by Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and Georgian Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Giorgi Gakharia.
Azerbaijan’s trade turnover with Turkey amounted to $2.3 billion in 2016, with Georgia – to almost $395 million, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee. Turkey became Azerbaijan’s main trade partner and Georgia ranked the 12th in 2016.