World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey wants to build its own medium range aircraft and will soon set out to do so, said Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan.
The most senior voice on economy in Turkey's ruling AK Party, Babacan said Saturday the government was planning to cooperate with an aircraft company to work on an existing platform, rather than building a new jet from scratch.
"There are four firms," Babacan told journalists while still in the US after his week-long talks on the occasion of the Turkey Investment Week.
"We want our engineers in Turkey to contribute, we want them to work in our sight [in Turkey]."
Babacan said there were expectations of a competitive environment as the draft project drew nearer to realization.
Last month Turkey awarded a missile defense system contract to a US-sanctioned Chinese firm, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan citing exchange of technological know as one of the primary reasons for the move.
Babacan arrived in the US last week with Rifat Hisarciklioglu, head of Turkish union of chambers, and 40 active businessmen for a series of visits in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago.
Turkey values its increasing trade relations with the US, Babacan said, describing the efforts for better cooperation since the strategic partnership deal in 2009 as "sowing seeds".
"You never know when such efforts bear fruit. It’s like sowing seeds, and there will be a time for harvest.
"Amid all the talk of crises and debt ceilings, the US remains the world's biggest economy. The companies here have an immense business capacity," he said.
Babacan said he welcomed the US Chamber of Commerce's plan to open an office in Turkey.
Having access to a source that they can consult would provide incentive for small US companies that have never invested in Turkey, he noted.
"The biggest incentive is in fact Turkey's economic stability," he added.