Ukraine expects early signing of FTA with Turkey

By Ali Atar

ISTANBUL (AA) – Ukraine expects early signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Turkey, Ukrainian economy minister said on Wednesday.

"This agreement will cover the bilateral economic ties for the next 30-50 years as it is a long-term program," said Stepan Kubiv, Ukraine’s first deputy prime minister and minister of economic development and trade.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Turkey-Ukraine Business Forum organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), Kubiv said Ukrainian and Turkish businessmen established a platform with active participation of the chamber of commerce of both countries, which aims more quick and effective solution of the trade-related problems.

"We can perform value-added projects together with Turkey, and have partnership in other countries on areas such as infrastructure, machinery and renewable energy," he added.

Gonca Isik Yilmaz Batur, the deputy minister of trade, said the amount of Turkish businessmen’s investment in Ukraine is around $3 billion, adding that the Turkish businessmen participated in Ukraine’s 159 "prestigious projects" worth $6 billion.

Batur also noted that the private-public sector cooperation will bring a new dimension to the bilateral trade relations.

"We aim to increase the trade between Turkey and Ukraine to $10 billion by 2023," Batur said.

Rasim Bekmezci, Head of the Turkey-Ukraine Business Council of DEIK, said that the free trade agreement is very important to increase the trade volume between the countries and prevent unfair competition.