Turkey, France aim for €20B trade volume by 2019 end

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Turkish economy minister says France agrees with Turkey over Customs Union

Turkey, France aim for €20B trade volume by 2019 end

By Omer Aydin

PARIS

Turkey and France have set a bilateral trade volume target of €20 billion ($24.7 billion) by the end of 2019, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

Zeybekci held bilateral meetings with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire and Minister of State in the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, during his visit to Paris held under the scope of Turkey-France Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO).

“We have set the target of raising our trade volume, which was $14.7 billion at the end of 2017, to €20 billion ($24.7 billion) by the end of 2019 and we will work one by one for this,” Zeybekci said.

He said issues regarding the Customs Union deal between Turkey and EU had been discussed during his meeting with Lemoyn.

Zeybekci said both countries were like-minded on the deal.

“We know very well that France also supports the Customs Union. We are pleased that France agrees with us and our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” Zeybekci said and added: “It will take some time but we will see France’s support in EU meetings and during the process [of the Customs Union]in the forthcoming months, we obtained a promise of this here.”

Despite not being a member of EU, Turkey is a member of the Customs Union agreement since 1995.

He added that talks with the minister would continue in June and in autumn.

Zeybekci said cooperation between Turkey and France in other countries was also addressed.

“We spoke about Africa, Middle East regarding business opportunities, regarding trade and economy,” Zeybekci said.

Turkey’s export to France stood at nearly $6.6 billion while its import from the country was more than $8 billion in 2017, TurkStat data reveals.

The country’s main exports groups consist of road vehicles, clothing and accessories, electrical machinery and devices to France while it purchases aircraft, iron and steel products and automobile spare parts from France.

*Tuba Sahin contributed to this story from Ankara.

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