Details added (first version posted at 12:46)
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 18
By Azad Hasanli – Trend:
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey does not reflect the existing potential between the countries, said Turkish Minister of Customs and Trade Bulent Tufenkci.
He made the remarks on July 18 at a meeting with Turkish entrepreneurs in Baku.
“Trade turnover between Turkey and Azerbaijan amounted to $2.1 billion in 2015, while in 2016 this figure was even less,” he noted.
Tufenkci said that both countries have great potential for cooperation in various fields. He expressed hope that Turkish companies will be particularly interested in the free trade zone (FTZ), which is being created in Alat settlement of the Garadagh district in Baku, and that they will be the first investors of the FTZ.
“Azerbaijan is also a transit corridor, which is confirmed by one of our joint projects – the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway that is designed to revive the historical Silk Road. We attach great importance to this project because it will allow connecting China and the UK, Asia and Europe via a railway.”
Azerbaijan and Turkey have very strong relations in political, economic, social and other spheres, he said, adding that the words of Azerbaijani national leader Heydar Aliyev, describing Azerbaijan and Turkey as “one nation, two states”, very well characterize the relations between the two countries.
Tufenkci further reminded about the 2016 military coup attempt in Turkey. He said it was supposed to undermine the country’s economy. However, the economy grew following the coup attempt thanks to the Turkish people and entrepreneurs, he added.
“The growth of the Turkish economy continues in 2017. We expect that Turkey's GDP will grow by 4.4 percent by the end of this year. It is possible that the growth may reach 5 percent.”