Tuzmen: "Growing foreign trade and investments are the best way to counter the global economic crisis"
State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen, with his French counterpart Anne-Marie Idrac, yesterday attended a working meeting in Istanbul held by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK). Speaking at the meeting, Tuzmen said that rising foreign trade and investments were the best remedies to the global economic crisis, adding that Ankara recently signed free trade agreements with France, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Montenegro. "Given these agreements, we can say that Turkey is among the countries that will come out of the crisis with minimal damage," Tuzmen said. Turkey, as a safe harbor for investments with an economy in good condition, is one of the chief destinations for foreign investments, he added. Tuzmen and his French counterpart yesterday also attended a Turkish-French Commerce Association ceremony honoring several leading Turkish and French firms for their successful trade between the two countries. Stating that bilateral trade between Turkey and France has risen 70 percent over the last two years, Tuzmen added that trade could rise to $20 billion in the years to come. Touching on the trade deficit between the two countries, Tuzmen also said France is Turkey's sixth-biggest foreign trading partner but Turkey has only a one percent share in France's overall imports. Also speaking at the ceremony, Idrac said many French companies have investments in Turkey and employ thousands of people, adding that they do well in Turkey and expect new French entrepreneurs in the country. Idrac said this shows their confidence in Turkey. She also said that her country stands by Turkey's bid to join the European Union.