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The seventh meeting of the UAE-Turkish Ministerial Committee concluded yesterday in Ankara with the two signing a statement reiterating their commitment to boost economic ties and forge a strategic partnership.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Economy, led the UAE side, while the Turkish side was led by Finance Minister, Kemal Unakitan. The two ministers signed the statement in the presence of senior officials of the two countries.
“The outcome of the joint committee meeting constitutes a long-term base for strategic partnership, in line with vision of the leaders in the two countries and the aspirations of the two peoples as well as the business communities in the UAE and Turkey,” Sheikha Lubna said, after signing the statement. She added the volume of trade between the UAE and Turkey grew by 400 per cent in the past five years according to figures available at the end of 2007.
Turkey now accounts for two per cent of the UAE’s total foreign trade, which includes trade through free zones. In the past two years, the volume of mutual investment has touched $2.5bn (Dh9bn), she said.
“These results show the vibrancy of economic and political ties between the UAE and Turkey. There is a need to sign a free trade agreement between the GCC and Turkey to promote joint relations,” Sheikha Lubna said.
The Turkish minister hailed the relations between the UAE and Turkey, adding “the two countries seek to continuously bolster these ties which are based on the political will in both countries to forge stronger ties”.
In the meeting, the two countries called for a system of preferential trade among member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and expressed readiness to co-operate in the introduction of a preferential tariff project between OIC members.
The Turkish side expressed their intention of setting up commercial centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Welcoming the proposal, the UAE delegation promised to provide support and all required facilities. The two sides also agreed to speed up the endorsement of a trade protection and promotion agreement signed in 2005 and to set up a body to facilitate setting up partnerships and investment portfolios in the two countries, and encouraging the FDI flow between Turkey and the UAE.
Other agreements were signed in the fields of education, water, environment, and transport. (Wam)
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