Turkey aims to boost ties with Southeast Asia

To promote Turkey's new role as a sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım paid official visits to Singapore and Vietnam in August. Speaking to attendees at the Singapore-Turkey Business Forum held on August 21, 2017, in Singapore, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım remarked that bilateral trade between Turkey and Singapore will further accelerate when the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries enters into force in October this year. The Forum, part of a South Asian roadshow including Singapore and Vietnam, was attended by more than 200 Turkish and Singaporean business people. 

Prime Minister Yıldırım noted that relations between Turkey and ASEAN, will improve since Singapore will serve as the term chair next year. “Turkey and Singapore look forward to fruitful cooperation with the combination of Turkey’s experience, particularly in construction, and Singapore’s strong financial resources,” Yıldırım said. He further underscored that Turkey’s stable investment environment following the April 2017 constitutional referendum, strong growth rates achieved over the last 14 years, and the ease of conducting business with regional countries, all provide lucrative opportunities for investors.

Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekçi also spoke at the forum. He pointed out that the FTA between Singapore and Turkey is the most comprehensive and inclusive one in Turkish history. He added that the two countries aim to reach a trade volume of USD 2 billion by the end of 2018.

 Prime Minister Yıldırım also attended an executive meeting with Singaporean investors whose total assets amounted to USD 550 billion. Other members of the Turkish delegation included Deputy Prime Ministers Mehmet Simsek and Recep Akdağ, Minister of Science, Industry, and Technology Faruk Özlü, Minister of Customs and Trade Bülent Tüfenkci, and President of Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey Arda Ermut.

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