KUALA LUMPUR: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that bilateral trade relations between Malaysia and Turkey should be further increased, as the current trade figures are far from satisfactory.
He said that in order to beef up trade relations between both countries, it was vital for businessmen from both sides to strengthen their contacts, which would result in more partnerships.
The Turkish premier, who is on a three-day official visit to Malaysia, gave his assurance that the Turkish government would extend all the necessary support and facilities in order to create a more attractive investment climate.
“We are striving to improve the investment environment in order to encourage foreign investors. A draft law prepared in this domain has been submitted to the Turkish Grand National Assembly,” he told Malaysian and Turkish businessmen at the Malaysia-Turkey Business Forum luncheon here yesterday.
Erdogan said although bilateral relations between Turkey and Malaysia are strong, there is room for improvement in terms of trade figures.
He noted that trade volume between Turkey and Malaysia last year was only US$354.8 million.
He admitted that the recent economic crisis in Asia and the Sept 11 incident had affected Turkey's economy.
Erdogan also said that Turkey was interested in forging better cooperation with Malaysia in the field of tourism and other areas of possible joint ventures such as railway, cement, petrochemicals, iron-steel, transportation, defence, electronics and shipbuilding.
At the luncheon, Erdogan also witnessed the signing of an agreement between Malaysian company, Kumpulan Sakata Sdn Bhd and Dizayn Teknik Plastic Pipes and Fittings Co of Turkey for a water distribution project in Malaysia.
Kumpulan Sakata was represented by its chairman Datuk Zolkipli Abdul and Dizayn Teknik by its executive board member, Vedat Mirmahmutogullari.
Also present was Second Finance Minister Datuk Dr Jamaludin Jarjis.
The business forum cum luncheon was jointly organised by the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM), the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey. –Bernama