Turkey, China eye more trade in “strategic partnership”


From Selcuk Golokuk and Tulay Karadeniz, ReutersTurkey and China aim to treble bilateral trade to $50 billion a year by 2015 and to $100 billion by 2020 under a new "strategic partnership", the prime ministers of the two countries said on Friday.

"We have decided bilaterally to establish a strategic partnership in our relations," Wen told the news conference with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan said the two sides had agreed to use the lira and the yuan, rather than dollars, in bilateral trade and singled out nuclear energy cooperation as a promising driver of trade.

The two leaders signed eight deals in areas including trade, infrastructure, energy and railway networks that would help connect Istanbul to Beijing through a "modern silk road".

Turkey’s ties with China have been complicated at times because of Beijing’s tough approach to unrest in Xinjiang, home to China’s Muslim Turkic minority of Uighurs.

Both Ankara and Beijing have increased commercial ties with Iran, signing deals on oil and gas fields to the frustration of Western powers, who suspect Iran of a secret nuclear weapons programme, an allegation that Iran denies. …

Currently, bilateral trade of about $17 billion is made up mostly of Chinese exports to Turkey.

In 2009, a year when global trade slumped because of the economic crisis, Turkish exports to China rose 11 percent to $1.6 billion, while imports fell 20 percent to $12.7 billion.

Turkey wants to rebalance trade with China through more Chinese investments in Turkey, Chinese tourists, joint ventures in third countries and more access for Turkish goods in China.  (photo: Getty)

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