Turkey, Malaysia sign free trade deal

Photo: Turkey, Malaysia sign free trade deal / Turkey

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday at a joint press conference with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak that a free trade agreement with Malaysia had been signed.

Erdogan said that the two leaders had reached the idea of a "Strategic Partnership" between the two states on his visit to Malaysia in January. This partnership aims to generate trade volume between the two countries worth around $5 billion over the next five years and the free trade agreement will help them meet this target.

"We will put all our efforts to pass the free trade agreement between Turkey and Malaysia at the parliament before it recesses," Erdogan continued while Najib said, "this is a high and challenging target and both countries need to work hard to achieve this goal and this goal will usher in a new age."

Najib added that joint economic commission meetings following the signing of a free trade agreement would be held within the shortest possible time.

Noting that the two countries would deepen their academic, economic and commercial cooperation, Erdogan said that Turkey is ready for admission of more Malaysian students to Turkish universities.

Also discussed in the meeting were international and regional issues as well as cooperation between the two states in international organizations such as the U.N., Organization of the Islamic Cooperation and the D-8. Najib vowed that Malaysia would support Turkey's bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the term 2015 and 2016.

Erdogan had earlier welcomed Najib in a military welcoming ceremony held at the Prime Ministry in Turkey's capital, Ankara.

Najib was also received by Turkish President Abdullah Gul and attended a conference at the Ankara-based think-tank SETA Foundation with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

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