Turkey Urges India To Start FTA Talks

Turkey has requested India to start talks on a proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) as soon as possible.
Talking to an Indian daily, Turkish Development Minister Lütfi Elvan recently said that Ankara was eager to explore opportunities in order to boost trade ties with New Delhi. He assured India that the ongoing political turmoil in his country would have no impact on foreign investment flows.
He thanked the ‘India-Turkey Joint Study Group’ for publishing a report on “the feasibility and possibility of concluding a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement” (CEPA) or FTA, saying: “We (Turkey) are ready to start FTA negotiations. But we are waiting for the Indian side to move ahead. We are expecting an official Indian delegation to come to Turkey soon in this regard.”
The minister further assured the Narendra Modi government that Turkish companies were ready to make India a gateway for strengthening trade ties in South Asia. The Indian companies, too, should try to use Turkey as a hub for expanding their operations in the European Union, he said, adding that Ankara has a Customs Union with the EU, West Asia and Africa.
Meanwhile, the minister expressed serious concern over the shrinking volume of bilateral trade, stressing that India-Turkey trade shrunk nearly 28% to USD 4.91 billion in 2016 (compared to 2015). He once again assured the Indian investors that the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan administration would take special measures to safeguard investors’ interests. “Investors have been coming even after the (failed) July coup attempt. The month following the coup, there was USD 1 billion worth of capital flows into Turkey. So, there is no risk at all for investments in Turkey,” he told the daily.
The development minister described Turkey as a safe haven for investors, insisting that his country would provide a stable environment for (foreign) trade. According to the minister, a number of French, British, German and other European companies were doing “business” in Turkey because of the tailor-made incentives offered by the Erdoğan government. Elvan informed the daily that Ankara has taken all the necessary steps to meet its economic development plans, which include reducing foreign dependency and bringing technological advancement.
The minister invited Indian investors to enjoy 100% discount in corporate tax in some sectors. Elvan, who believes that Turkey is a world leader in Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects, claimed that the country has around 211 PPP projects worth USD 122 billion. “We have well-experienced companies doing PPP projects. If India invites, Turkish companies can share their experience in PPPs. The Turkish government can work on that with the Indian government,” he said.


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