World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking at the Turkey-India Business Forum, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said meetings held during his official visit to India would mark a new era of business ties.
"Since India gained independence, our relations have been based on friendship. Economic cooperation will be further deepened and diversified. This is our sincere wish and we are determined and committed to achieve this," Erdogan said.
Erdogan also said the Turkey-India Joint Economy Meetings -- last held in 2014 -- and negotiations for free-trade agreements should continue.
Pointing to the almost $6.5-billion trade volume between the two countries, Erdogan said predicted this figure would increase.
“But it is for sure that the bilateral trade volume is not to Turkey’s favor; that is a reality. As of last year, Turkey’s exports to India were $652 million while its imports from India were $5.75 billion. So, this is not sustainable for Turkey,” Erdogan added.
“That’s why we have to increase reciprocal investments and the trade volume should be balanced. As fast as possible, steps should be taken to achieve that,” he said.
Erdogan also noted that Turkey would like to further develop cooperation with India in the IT, high-tech, software, aerospace and renewable energy sectors where India had made “great progress” under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi, also speaking at the event, said: "The growth in our bilateral trade over the years has been impressive. I understand that bilateral trade has increased significantly since President Erdogan last visited India.”
"India and Turkey are among the 20 largest economies in the world. Both economies have shown remarkable stability... We are seeing an increase in the presence of Turkish companies in India. I am certain that it will get even better in the time to come,” he added.
“Our aim is to create an efficient business environment in India. India is seeing a major push for better infrastructure and Turkish companies can be a part of this massive exercise. We are building more than 30 million homes, developing new airports and sea ports, modernizing our railways, building highways across the country at a rapid pace.
“Turkey can be a part of this,” Modi said.