Tehran, Ankara to sketch car industry co-op roadmap
Iran and Turkey have started negotiations to sign a roadmap outlining cooperation in the automotive sector and related industries, Turkish Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergün said here on Saturday.
"The two sides are aware of each others' capabilities and will exchange delegations in future to discuss boosting ties," IRNA News Agency quoted Ergün as saying.
He went on to note that the Turkish automaker Tofas (Türk Otomobil Fabrikasi Anonim Serketi) will soon send a delegation to Tehran in this regard.
Iranian carmaker Iran Khodro's managing director Javad Najmeddin stated that his company has launched talks with the Turkish automotive sector to manufacture a joint car for the Developing Eight (D8) countries. Iran, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey are the D8 member states.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Iranian carmaker Iran Khodro and Turkey's Hema Endustri are set to sign a deal worth 200 million euro ($262 million) to build two automotive factories.
The memorandum of agreement could be signed in Iran in two weeks, the report added. One factory would make brakes and the other steering wheels and they would be built in a free-trade zone on the Iranian border.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey plans to triple trade with Iran in the next five years.
"Our bilateral trade ties have reached $10 billion. When we remove the barriers to trade, when we complete our preferential trade agreement, we can reach a bilateral trade volume of $30b in five years," Erdogan told businessmen at a summit aimed at lowering tariffs between the two countries.
Samet Inanir, an adviser at the trade relations board DEIK, said of the $30 billion trade target: "We should consider Turkey and Iran as if they were France and Germany."
Many Turkish companies say that prohibitively high tariffs and barriers to investment are bigger obstacles to doing business in Iran than sanctions.
"I promise the obstacles to Turkish merchants will be lifted," said Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi on the sidelines of his visit with the Turkish prime minister on Thursday.