Reasons for optimism

Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov announces rapid progress in trade-economic relations with Turkey

By Tatiana Korovina

“Over the past five years, our trade turnover has risen almost five-fold. It rose 36 percent in 2010 and by another 20 percent in 2011,” noted Mr. Martynov, speaking after a session of the Belarusian-Turkish Business Co-operation Council, hosted by Minsk. He stresses that the two sides ‘are unsatisfied with the absolute volume of relations, taking into account the potential of Belarus and Turkey’.

According to Mr. Martynov, collaboration in the industrial sphere looks very promising, while strategic logistics liaisons are possible. He believes that the importance of such co-operation is reinforced by the creation of the Customs Union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. Moreover, from January 1st, the Single Economic Space will be fully operational.

“Belarusian-Turkish interaction within a single market is a vital area of our collaboration with Turkey,” asserts Mr. Martynov. Speaking of other projects, he notes that an agreement was recently reached on the development of worsted manufacture in Belarus. A bid for $200m has been won by a Turkish company. “Let’s hope that this project will become a benchmark in our relations, inspiring other projects in various spheres, including power engineering,” adds the Head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.

Mr. Martynov notes that our two nations view co-operation in power engineering to be especially vital, placing great importance on the diversification of energy supplies and the development of nuclear engineering.

The next session of the Council is to take place next year in Ankara. The Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister, Ertugrul Gunay, has called collaboration with Belarus very fruitful, saying, “Our businesses currently working in Belarus are delighted that state authorities, the private sector and the Belarusian people are so friendly and hospitable.”

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