Turkey Eager To End Visa Requirements With Ukraine

YALTA, Ukraine -- Industry and Commerce Minister Nihat Ergün said on Friday that Turkey was eager to remove limitations on travel between Ukraine and Turkey by ending visa requirements.

Minister Ergün (R) and the permanent representative of the president of Ukraine in Crimea.

“We have reiterated Turkey’s proposal to remove visa requirements between Turkey and Ukraine,” Ergün, who is currently in Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea to attend the Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum, said.

The minister met with a group of Crimean businessmen at a meeting organized by the Turkish-Ukrainian Businessmen’s Association on Thursday evening.

Recalling the agreement on the abolishment of visa requirements with Russia, which is currently awaiting ratification in the both countries’ parliaments, he underscored that such steps play a great role in bringing different cultures together and leading to increased prosperity.

From this point of view, an end to visa requirements boosts the potential of mutual commercial relations dramatically, he argued.

“Turkey wants to have a consulate general in Crimea in Simferopol. We have completed the necessary application and have asked Crimean officials to accelerate the process,” Ergün added.

Turkey and the Crimea share historical roots and enjoy close relations in the political and cultural sphere, along with their geographical proximity, asserted the minister to illustrate the potential of deepening relations further.

He said Turkey’s fortunes were improving politically and economically with every passing day, calling on the Ukrainian entrepreneurs to take advantage of their southern neighbors’ emergence as a regional power.

“During our meeting with the Ukrainian executives we wanted Turkey and Ukraine to sign a free trade agreement,” Ergün said, also noting that the Crimea would be included in this as well. Referring to bilateral trade between Turkey and Ukraine, Ergün said Turkey’s imports from this country outnumbered its exports: “The trade volume was $8 billion in 2008.

Of this, $6 billion was Turkey’s imports, whereas its exports added up to just $2 billion.”

“This figure dropped following the economic crisis in the world in 2009. The trade volume between Turkey and Ukraine at the moment stands around $4 billion and only a quarter of this amount constitutes Turkey’s exports,” he added.

Ergün also said Turkish businessmen brought new technology and opportunities to the regions they invested in.

Source: Today's Zaman

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