China Daily - China and Turkey are looking into ways to increase their bilateral trade and have a larger scale of mutual investment in a bid to forge closer economic ties, said the two countries' top trade officials in Ankara on Thursday. "For China, Turkey is an extremely significant strategic trade partner with its location between Europe and Asia", said China's Commerce Minister Chen Deming after a meeting with Turkey’s State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan, noting that Sino- Turkish trade has a good prospect despite the impact of the global financial crisis.
China will work with Turkey to improve transportation between the two countries to facilitate economic ties and wants to see the revitalization of the ancient Silk Road, a 2000-year-old ancient trade route linking Asia and Europe, Chen told reporters. The minister said China will take necessary measures to encourage Turkish companies to expand their sales network in China, adding that he had discussed with Caglayan the ways to boost cooperation in major sectors such as finance, food, energy, tourism and process manufacturing.
More than 100 Chinese entrepreneurs came along with Chen to seek purchase and investment opportunities during the minister's four-day visit to Turkey.
Caglayan said his country hopes a railway be built and more air routes to link China and Turkey.
The two sides will set up a team to promote investments, especially in areas such as construction, automotive, mining, mechanical and chemical industries, he noted.
Turkey welcomes Chinese companies' participation in building nuclear power plants in Turkey, he added. Caglayan said he and Chen had also discussed China's interest in the planned construction of a third bridge over the Bosporus Strait in Turkey's largest province of Istanbul and a high-speed rail line between the Turkish capital province of Ankara and western city province of Izmir.
Chinese enterprises' direct investments in Turkey reached USD 313 million as of the end of September 2009, with the amount in the first three quarters accounting for more than 90 percent of the total, according to the figures from China's Commerce Ministry. Meanwhile, actual investment by Turkish companies in China exceeded USD 100 million as of the end of October.
Chen arrived in Ankara on Wednesday night and will be in Istanbul on Friday before concluding his visit on Saturday.