Turkey working towards Brazil-Mercosur deal

Today’s Zaman – Turkish State Minister Zafer Caglayan arrived in Sao Paolo on Thursday, leading a delegation of 80 businessmen representing more than 50 Turkish companies, with the aim of holding high-level talks with officials in the 10th largest economy in the world and to host a Turkey-Brazil Trade Fair. Caglayan has stated that he hopes the meetings will lead to the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the South American giant, a member of the four-nation trading bloc Mercosur, which also includes Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. He said that if Turkey could successfully sign an agreement with the countries, he is confident that trade volume between Brazil and Turkey will surge to around USD 5 billion from the current level of around USD 1.5 billion. The talks are due to focus on diversifying trade, planning a joint economic commission meeting that is set for October, as well as ways for the Turkish and Brazilian businessmen to improve investments in the two countries. The delegation of businessmen will have the opportunity to use the meeting as a networking platform where they can find ways to do business with their Brazilian counterparts. A Turkey-Brazil Business Forum has also been organized for July 17. The businessmen accompanying Caglayan represent industries as diverse as textiles, home appliances, construction, mining, automotives and jewelry. The Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) has recently signed an agreement with Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras in order to cooperate in exploring for oil reserves in the Black Sea. Petrobras is reputed to have some of the most sophisticated deep-sea oil and gas exploration equipment in the world. The two companies are expected to contribute more than USD 800 million to the project.