By Gokhan Ergocun
ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkish companies are ready to get a bigger share of imports to China, which is set to reach $8 trillion in total imports within five years, Turkey's deputy trade minister said on Wednesday.
"We aim to balance bilateral trade between Turkey and China and attract more investment from China to Turkey," Gonca Yilmaz Batura stressed at a China-Turkey CEO roundtable meeting in Shanghai, said a press statement by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK).
Last year, Turkey's exports to China totaled $2.94 billion, while its imports from China totaled $23.4 billion, according to TurkStat.
During the meeting, organized by DEIK as part of the China International Import Expo (CIIE), the Turkey-China Business Council — representatives of 35 Chinese companies with total revenues of $1 trillion — met with Turkish businesspeople.
On Chinese President Xi Jinping's call to invest in countries located along its One Road One Belt initiative, she said: "We’re ready to support projects of Chinese companies who want to invest in Turkey."
The initiative is China's global strategic partnership vision meant to connect Asia, Africa, and Europe via road and sea lanes.
"Turkey, which has a Customs Union agreement with the EU, provides the optimum investment climate for Chinese companies with its location," she added.
She said that to date Chinese companies have made $920 million in investments in Turkey, and Turkey hopes to get a 10 percent share of China's foreign investments.
China's foreign investments last year totaled $124 billion.