'Turkey seeking new cooperation for mutual benefit’

By Gokhan Ergocun

ISTANBUL (AA) – While global trade wars loom, Turkey is seeking new cooperation in which both sides benefit, said Turkey’s science and industry minister on Wednesday.

"In trade wars there are no winners,” Mustafa Varank said in Istanbul at the opening ceremony of the 17th Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MUSIAD) Expo, of which Anadolu Agency is the global communications partner.

Turkey cannot sit and watch as growth expectations for both developed and developing countries are falling due to uncertainty over trade, he said.

"A collective effort is needed to revive trade and production," Varank said.

Turkey got through a difficult August during which its economy was targeted by foreign shocks that hurt currency exchange rates, he noted.

Earlier this month the U.S. lifted sanctions on two Turkish Cabinet ministers imposed in September over the case of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was being tried in Turkey on terrorism-linked charges. The pastor was released last month.

This week the Turkish lira recovered to a rate of 5.30 to the dollar.

-Swift action

Turkey swiftly took results-based measures to limit the sanctions' impact on the Turkish economy, Varank underlined.

"We focused on structural reforms to production with principal axes, indigenization, technology production, and branding," he said.

The minister said that Turkey will soon announce an end-to-end indigenization program to bring down the current account deficit and export value-added products.

"The program's door is open to foreign investors, every company which invested in Turkey, the same with Turkish companies," he said.

This October Turkey ranked 17th, up from 43rd, on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index, Varank said.

"Creating an investor-friendly environment is one of our government's priorities while protectionism is accelerating in the world economy," he stressed.

He added: "The way to success lies through cooperation."

-8,000 people, 100 countries

Abdurrahman Kaan, the head of MUSIAD, said the expo is being attended by over 8,000 people from over 100 countries including Germany, the Netherlands, France, China, Malaysia, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, and Angola.

"Our essential principle is growing and earning together, and growing trade and diplomacy on friendship," Kaan noted.

Wilson Muruli Mukasa, Uganda’s minister for public service, said that Uganda and Turkey have strong relations and that this will continue.

He said Uganda is ready for investments from Turkey in sectors such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, infrastructure, industry, and health.

Uganda is a secure country and it has an educated population of 40 million, he said.

Ibrahim Al-Senoussi, Sudan’s vice president, invited Turkish investors to Sudan to see opportunities in the country's underground and overland wealth.

The four-day MUSIAD Expo is being attended by company representatives, businesspeople, academics, journalists, non-governmental organizations, and politicians.

As part of the expo, under the auspices of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the International Business Forum's (IBF) 22nd Annual Congress, high technology and defense industry event “the High-Tech Port” and International Young Businessmen Congress (UGIK) are also set to be held.

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