Turkey, Singapore aim for $2B trade volume by 2018

SINGAPORE

Turkey and Singapore want to reach $2 billion in trade volume by the end of 2018, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Monday.

A free-trade agreement between Turkey and Singapore will come into force by Oct. 1, Zeybekci said in a speech to the Turkey-Singapore Business Forum.

"We started to talk on the broadest and most-comprehensive free-trade agreement in Turkey's history with Singapore, and finalized it in 2015.

"Singapore is the first country I came to as a minister and the Singapore-Turkey free-trade agreement became the first free-trade agreement which I started and finalized as a minister," he added.

Zeybekci said the deal would be significant for free production, sales, service investments, public procurement and in other industrial fields.

Turkey's export value to Singapore last year totaled nearly $418 million while imports from the Asian country were worth $363 million in the same period, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.

Turkey's exports to Singapore saw an upward trend in the first half of 2017, reaching $434 million while imports were worth $177.5 million in the first six months of this year.

Zeybekci said there was also an opportunity for Singaporean and Turkish business circles to cooperate in third countries.

Turkish businessmen might consider Singapore as a platform from which they can identify important investment opportunities in the region with the help of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the minister said.

Trade and Industry Minister S. Iswaran said economic ties between Singapore and Turkey gathered pace in recent years.

Bilateral trade between Singapore and Turkey marked a steady increase since 2007 and the trade volume between two countries exceeds $1billion, Iswaran said.

The free-trade agreement will be a crucial step towards strengthening ties and it will enable companies to make new investments, he said.

Turkey and Singapore will speed up their works in the fields of infrastructure, health systems and electronic trade, he added.

Source: Anadolu Agency