Turkey looks to boost trade ties with Kazakhstan
Turkish Economy Minister Mustafa Elitas has said the Middle Corridor, a proposed transportation network extending from the Caspian Sea through Turkey and Azerbaijan to Central Asia and China, will boost economic recovery in the region, Anadolu agency reported.
Addressing the 9th Joint Economic Commission between Turkey and Kazakhstan in the capital Ankara Saturday, Elitas said an increase in trade agreements through the commission would boost economic activity following a decline in trade after ties between Turkey and Russia became tense late November last year, which affected the economy along the Caspian Sea.
In late Nov. 2015, Turkish fighter jets downed a Russian warplane that had violated Turkish airspace.
According to the minister, a 5.1 percent growth over the past six years took place despite the financial crisis.
He said the Middle Corridor would become a great opportunity for economic recovery in the region with a boost in transportation and agriculture trade as well as many other sectors.
He also saw it as an opportunity to "strengthen ties and deepen relations through increased logistics and trade activity in the Turkic world".
The Middle Corridor will also become a pathway for Kazakhstan into Europe through Turkey, he added.
However, whilst the port of Aktau in Kazakhstan is not ready for large scale activity, Turkish companies say they are ready to support Kazakhstan to increase the capacity of the port as part of increased trade agreements between the two countries.
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev is expected to make an official visit to Ankara in April for the signing of the New Strategy Partnership Economic Program 2016-2020, which will finalize the deals discussed by the representatives at the joint commission.