NEW ERA OF 6 AGREEMENTS FOR TURKEY-BELARUS ECONOMIC RELATIONS
Belarus-Turkey Business Forum, organized by DEIK within the scope of official visit of Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım to Belarus, was held on February 15, 2018 in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, with the participations of Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Binali Yıldırım, Prime Minister of Belarus Andrey Kobyakov the Republic of Turkey Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci, DEIK President Nail Olpak, Belarus Chairman of Chamber of Industry and Trade Vladimir Ulahoviç and DEIK/Turkey-Belarus Business Council President Ali Rıza Arslan.
Prime Minister Yıldırım, stating that 6 agreements involving business worlds of both countries were concluded within the framework of the visit, further said, "we have concluded agreements in the areas of protecting of investments, prevention of double taxation, standardization, combined transportation, enhancing scientific and technical cooperation". Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, addressing the closing session of the Business Forum, mentioning that the Governments' task is to resolve the problems and hindrances encountered by the business world, further said, "We are aiming to develop our business by means of win-win principle within the relations between Belarus and Turkey. Unilateral achievements do not yield results in the future. Trade satisfying only one side shall not be auspiciousness. For instance, there is a Viking project started some time ago. This project is far from satisfying our expectations because of Ukraine. Was it established? Yes, it was. But it proceeds at a slow rate. Seaway can be developed. Hindrances and obstacles to trade growth can be further reduced. Transportation is nothing more than a tool for the trade. If we only attribute a few dollars to trade, we would do wrong to our countries". Yıldırım, stating that cooperation is feasible in various sectors, further mentioned, "We are well aware that Belarus has substantial experiences and fund of knowledge in agricultural and heavy-duty machinery. Turkey and Belarus can improve and promote those to address to third country markets".
Belarus Prime MinisterAndrey Kobyakov said that they are striving for creating a comfortable environment in Belarus for the Turkish business circles. Kobyakov, emphasizing that organizations of events between Turkish and Belarus business circles have become a tradition, stated that relations between both countries have been developed and improved dynamically in the recent years and practically cover entire areas. Kobyakov, saying that they have accomplished many projects for the purpose of realization of agreements concluded between Turkey and Belarus, further said, "our trade volume has reached to 1 billion USD in the year 2017. We consider this as a provisional accomplishment. I am confident that we shall achieve substantial successes in the future. It is a good thing for our business circles to be affiliated and merchandise between both countries, however, those are required to be evolved into investments and cooperation within the industrial area". He further mentioned that new doors are opened for 5 countries due to location and logistic infrastructure of Belarus and Turkish business people therefore are invited to make investments within the areas of machinery, automotive, chemistry, textiles and logistics in Belarus.
DEİK President Nail Olpak said that firm steps have been taken for the development and improvement of the cooperation and collaboration between Turkey and Belarus. Olpak, elucidating that the value of 46 projects undertaken by the Turkish contractors in Belarus since 1991 worth around 1 billion USD, further stated, "I would like to mention that Turkish contractors are qualified to assume new projects in the residence and infrastructure projects to be required by Belarus. It is quite important for the North-South Transportation Corridor to establish connection between Turkey and the countries located at the north and east of Belarus to be accomplished. Through this project, a hauling capacity of 300 thousand containers can be achieved and furthermore an additional hauling capacity of 1 million tons can be acquired in river transport". Olpak, stating that our mutual socio-economic history with deep roots dating back to the 14th Century inspires and encourages us for trading in many sectors, said that Turkey and Belarus are communities with common values that are well familiar with each other and well aware of the dynamics of the regional geography, further mentioned, "Each meeting between both countries held on the grounds of business world brings us even closer than ever through an approach aiming for both sides to have achievements. We are all here together for more cooperation and more economic integration in Belarus, located at the heart of power and communication lines at the centre of Europe, Asia and Russia that we have arrived to deepen our trade relations in the 26th year of our diplomatic relations".
DEIK/Turkey-Belarus Business Council President Ali Rıza Arslanelucidated that bilateral trade volume was increased by 31.6 percent comparing year 2016 and advanced to 605.4 million USD. Arslan, said, "If we are able to maintain this tempo, I believe we will manage to achieve the target set in 4-5 years". Arslan further emphasized that automotive industry, woodworking and furniture manufacturing, textiles and ready wear, machinery manufacturing, retail trading, banking and financial services, construction materials manufacturing and tourism and hospitality constitute substantial potential for Turkish enterprises in Belarus.
Turkish Maarif Foundation Chairman of the Board of Directors Distinguished Professor Dr. Birol Akgün and Municipality of Minsk UKB Director Dimitri Mikulonak concluded Overseas Outright Agreement in the Forum.
Turkey-Belarus Trade Figures (Ministry of Economy-2017)
Total Foreign Trade Volume: 605 million USD
Turkey's Exports to Belarus:422 million USD
Main export items: Fruits, vegetables, knitted textiles, components, parts and accessories for road vehicles, synthetic cords and threads.
Turkey's Imports from Belarus: 183 million USD
Main import items:Fertilizer, organic chemicals, synthetic filament bundles, wire and other goods made of iron or unalloyed steel, synthetic cords and threads, wood and forestry products.
Total Foreign Trade Balance:239 million USD in favour of Turkey.