World Bulletin / News Desk
On the heels of India's mass elections, won convincingly by Hindu nationalist politician Narendra Modi on a pledge to revive economic growth, India's ambassador in Ankara says India is looking to Turkish exports.
"We import a lot of furniture, a lot of leather from Italy. Turkey has a strength in high-end furniture, the Ottoman-style furniture and there is no reason why Turkey should not look at India," said Susmita Gongulee Thomas, the Indian ambassador to Turkey.
Thomas said that Turkey re-exports most of the products it imports from India, which according to the ambassador decreases the trade value between the two countries.
Instead, she suggested Turkey increase furniture and leather exports to India, which are currently "minimal".
"A defense cooperation was proposed 20 years ago and it is still pending, they (the Turkish government) have not moved it forward," she said. "My guess is that Turkish leaders feel that this would impinge Turkey's relations with Pakistan."
There are several issues of contention between India and Pakistan, who have fought three wars with each other, but Pakistan is consider ed a "friend" and "brotherly nation" to Turkey.
Thomas, who is about to retire as an ambassador, said both Turkey and India are open to improving relations. "I do not see any reason why relations should not become better," she said.
She also encouraged Turkish people to visit India as there are around 75,000 Indian people visiting Turkey every year, while the number of Turks going to India is a lower 25,000.Last Mod: 22 Mayıs 2014, 10:56