World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey and Russia's desire to expand bilateral trade to $100 billion is demanding but an attainable goal that can be realized with the help of mutual investments globally, Russia’s new ambassador to Turkey told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
Speaking in Ankara after attending the 86th Izmir International Fair, which runs between Aug 18 and 27, where Russia attended as a partner country, Alexei Yerkhov hailed Turkey as a "crucial" trade partner for Moscow in a wide range of areas including the construction sector.
"There are very serious and important investment activities for Ankara and Moscow in our states that are not limited to only the construction sector. Russia's biggest companies have been investing in the Turkish economy for a long time while Turkish companies are operating very successfully in the Russian market.
Yerkhov said that bilateral trade between Turkey and Russia started with shuttle trade in the 1990's, but now the sphere of cooperation has expanded to the extent now that huge infrastructure projects are being implemented, including the Turkish Stream natural gas project and Turkey's first nuclear plant - the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant.
The trade volume reached a record high in 2010 with $34 billion, a time when political parties first voiced the target of $100 billion, according to the Russian ambassador.
"However it is important to note that our trade volume recently decreased extensively for known reasons as well as due to market conditions. It dropped around 50 percent compared to levels seen seven or eight years ago.
"Despite this, the target to increase the mutual trade volume up to $100 billion is a demanding but attainable goal," he said.
Yerkhov underlined that both the business world and regional governors are working hard to reach this goal, adding that an important example to this effort is evident in the Alabuga Free Trade Zone in the Republic of Tatarstan in which Turkish firms actively operate.
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