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Turkey ‘ready’ for free trade deal with Mexico, minister says

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey

Turkey ‘ready’ for free trade deal with Mexico, minister says

31 July 2013

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency/Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan has said Turkey is ready to sign a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with Mexico.

“We hope to make necessary arrangements regarding the negotiations during Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s upcoming visit,” he said during his meeting with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Jose Antonio Meade.

The level of cooperation should have been higher considering the similarities between the two countries since both were “playing an important role in their regions,” the minister said.

The Mexican president’s Turkey visit planned for September, which would be the first one at presidential level from Mexico to Turkey, will be an opportunity to take new steps in customs cooperation and double taxation as well, according to Çağlayan. During his speech, the Turkish minister stressed that despite close bilateral relations, economic cooperation between parties was inefficient with a total trading volume of $1.1 billion.

“Both Mexico and Turkey play important roles in their regions, finding opportunity for cooperation on various platforms like G-20 and OECD,” he added.

While Mexico’s exports to Turkey rose by 23.7 percent in the first five months of this year, Turkey managed to raise its exports to the country by 9.3 percent, according to figures provided by Çağlayan during his speech.

The minister highlighted the asymmetry of the relationship and said that last year Turkey showed a $661 million trade deficit in its trade with Mexico, which Çağlayan suggested would become more balanced.