World Bulletin / News Desk
"We are scheduling the next meeting of the joint commission on economic affairs between Turkey and Portugal to take place in Lisbon at the beginning of next year," Augusto Santos Silva told Anadolu Agency at the end of a two-day visit to capital Ankara earlier this week.
"This meeting is very important and it has a very practical nature because there are several Turkish foreigners interested in investing in Portugal," Silva said, adding there were several Portuguese foreigners already investing in Turkey.
The Portuguese minister called for increasing the trade volume between the two countries, as well as mutual investment.
In a statement released on Tuesday by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), Turkey-Portugal Business Council President Berna Ilter said that last year's bilateral trade volume of $1.3 billion was below its potential.
According to figures from Turkey's Economy Ministry, Turkish exports to Portugal stood at $650 million in 2016, marking a 16.49 percent increase over the previous year. Turkey's imports, on the hand, also saw an improvement, and reached $658 million, going up 2.8 percent compared to 2015.
As of 2016, there are 65 Portuguese companies operating in Turkey compared to 17 Turkish businesses in Portugal. Between 2002 and 2016, Turkish businesses invested $762 million in Portugal, while Portuguese investments in Turkey stood at $16 million over the same period.