5/22/2009

Turkey and Brazil seek to boost trade and partnerships

Reuters - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and business leaders visited Istanbul on Thursday to secure a stronger foothold in Turkey's domestic market. Trade between Turkey and Brazil, which was slightly above USD 1 billion last year, could grow as much as 400 percent in the short term, said Brazil's Minister of Foreign Trade Miguel Jorge on Thursday. "We should triple or quadruple this figure as soon as possible," he told Reuters. Turkey's attempts to establish a partnership with South America's largest trade bloc, Mercosur, which consists of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil, have also given it an opportunity to position itself as the right trading outpost for Brazilian automobiles, ethanol and technology. "Turkey has a special place for Brazil, as our relations hinge on the trade bloc Mercosur. Basically this partnership would be based on a “four-plus-one formula” which would remove import duties for the countries involved," Jorge said. Turkey and Brazil, two emerging markets, are seeking more trade partners as the European Union and the United States suffer from a significant economic slowdown.“Turkey and Brazil have great potential; however, I believe we're not even utilizing 10 percent of this potential," Lula told business leaders in Istanbul. Underlining growing ties, state-carrier Turkish Airlines recently announced it will begin three flights per week to Sao Paulo from Istanbul in June.

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