Belarus, Turkey have huge potential to boost trade, Vladimir Semashko says

Belarus and Turkey have a huge potential to boost bilateral trade, First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko noted during a meeting with a Turkish delegation led by Turkish Secretary of State for External Trade Tuncer Kayalar, reported Belta.

According to Vladimir Semashko, for the past five years, trade between Belarus and Turkey quadrupled. "It is too little for such countries as Belarus and Turkey," the Vice Premier highlighted. "However, our countries have a huge potential to increase trade in the next two or three years. The time is favourable to make this quickly and efficiently," the official noted.

Vladimir Semashko also noted that the Belarusian economy has been rapidly developing. Within the last four years, Belarus' GDP was up 9.7% on average. This year GDP will increase 10.4%. GDP is projected to grow by 10-11% a year for the next several years. Capital investment increase at the pace of 25% annually.

In 2007, the trade between Belarus and Turkey made up $206.8 million (35% up). The Belarusian exports hit $67.8 million (75% up). The Turkish imports reached $139 million (21% up). In 2008, Belarus had a surplus in trade with Turkey for the first time in the past five years. In January-April 2008, Belarus had a surplus at the amount of $17.2 million (over the same period 2007, Belarus had a deficit at the amount of $12.7 million). The bulk (90%) of Belarusian exports to Turkey is stock steel, potash fertilizers, flax linen, synthetic and artificial thread, synthetic fibre.

As of January 1, 2008, there were 27 companies with Turkish capital in Belarus including 4 joint ventures and 23 Turkish companies.

A visit of a Turkish business delegation to Belarus will be running until July 12. The Turkish guests took part in the 10th session of the Belarusian-Turkish Business Cooperation Council. The Turkish delegation included representatives of 40 companies which specialize in such areas as power engineering, food and light industry, the production of construction materials, household appliances, various equipment and other goods.

The Belarusian-Turkish Business Cooperation Council was set up in 1992 under the auspices of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Association of Turkish Chambers of Commerce to boost the economic ties between Belarus and Turkey, to develop business contacts between businessmen of both the countries. The Council organized 9 joint sessions in which more than 800 Belarusian and Turkish companies took part.