Turkey, Iran work to ease bilateral trade

Photo: Turkey, Iran work to ease bilateral trade  / Turkey

Turkey and Iran have started to work on a scheme aimed at lifting non-tariff obstacles and easing bureaucracy to further facilitate trade between the two parties, the Turkish development minister has said Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Turkish Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz further asserted the ultimate goal is creating a free trade agreement between two neighbors.

"We must conduct trade with the whole world, but trading with neighbors should be priority," Yilmaz said addressing businessmen and bureaucrats at the Turkish-Iranian Business forum yesterday.

He claimed commercial ties between the countries have prospered under the leadership of Justice and Development Party (AKP) and said despite stumbling in recent years due to Western sanctions on Iran, the Turkish government is confident it will boost relations further in the near future.

"When we came to power in 2002, Turkey's trade with Iran was only $1.2 billion. It reached its highest level of $22 billion in 2012. Unfortunately, it retreated slightly to $14.6 billion last year. Embargos against Iran, which we think are unjust, have had great influence on that," he said.

Gas has been the top trade item between the countries.

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