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Turkey, Greece seek to double bilateral trade to $10 billion

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Turkey and Greece have set themselves the ambitious goal of almost doubling their bilateral trade volume from $5.8 billion in 2023 to $10 billion, TRT World news website reported on Friday.

The announcement was made during the Turkish-Greek Economic Forum in İstanbul, organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK).

Turkish Deputy Trade Minister Mustafa Tuzcu emphasized the importance of strengthening relations between the two nations, saying, “We are neighbors, friends and allies with Greece. We need to use the time well, we need to close the trade deficit.”

Tuzcu highlighted the progress made through the signing of 15 agreements in various sectors a few months ago and expressed confidence in reaching the new trade volume target.

The signing of a declaration on friendship by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Athens on December 7 further strengthened the push for increased cooperation.

The Turkish-Greek Economic Forum also coincided with the 6th meeting of the Turkey-Greece Joint Economic Commission (JEC), where the JEC protocol was signed. Discussions at the meeting covered a wide range of sectors, including energy, agriculture, transportation, industry, customs, tourism and social security. Both sides agreed on various initiatives to deepen economic cooperation.

Key initiatives include the development of safer and more sustainable electricity transmission infrastructure through a new interconnector, the construction of a second bridge at the Kipi-İpsala border crossing to improve the movement of goods and people and the promotion of cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises in both countries.

In addition, the Turkish Standards Institute agreed to cooperate with its Greek counterparts in the field of standardization and plans were made to hold the “10th Turkish-Greek Tourism Forum” to further promote cooperation in tourism. Greece also announced visa facilitation for Turkish tourists seeking to visit the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea as of March 1.

Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Kostas Fragogiannis emphasized the importance of joint projects in the areas of investment, trade, tourism and construction for strengthening cooperation. He referred to the positive climate in Greek-Turkish relations and the importance of continued efforts to bridge differences through honest dialogue.

Fragogiannis also highlighted the importance of rapprochement between the two countries in addressing key global and regional challenges, including climate change and regional conflicts, and emphasized the potential benefits of improved relations for the prosperity of the entire region.

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