Azmin meets Turkish President during trade mission to Turkey

PETALING JAYA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has met with International Trade and Industries Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, the Malaysian Turkish Embassy tweeted.

A photograph of Azmin and Erdogan standing next to each other at the latter's Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey accompanied the tweet.

"H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey received H.E. Mohamed Azmin Ali, Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia at the Presidential Complex," the Turkish Embassy in Kuala Lumpur posted on its Twitter account.

The meeting took place on Wednesday (July 14) during Azmin’s official business trip to Turkey.

Malaysia and Turkey enjoy good diplomatic and economic relations with Erdogan having made much contact with many political leaders of the country, including Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Prior to the meeting with Erdogan, Azmin's office said that the minister and trade and investment mission team were in Turkey to enhance bilateral trade and to showcase Malaysia as an investment destination of choice.

The ministry said that considering the strong relationship between the two countries, the mission is key in charting the next phase of trade and economic cooperation for both Malaysia and Turkey.

"The mission would provide an impetus for further exploring new and creative ways of enhancing bilateral market access which would ultimately uplift economic growth for both countries," said the ministry in a statement on Tuesday (July 13).

Azmin recently courted controversy after a photograph of him posing in front of the historical Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, emerged on social media, with netizens claiming that he was there with his family members.

However, his children tweeted photographs to prove that they did not accompany the minister but were still in Malaysia.

In a statement on Wednesday, Miti said that Erdogan expressed Turkey’s solidarity in being together with Malaysia, to curb the Covid-19 pandemic and also indicated keen interest to work closely with Malaysia to arrive at a mutual recognition arrangement for vaccines.

Miti also added that Azmin also expressed Malaysia’s ardent hope for both countries to emerge from the challenges of the pandemic stronger and more resilient.

“President Erdogan underscored the importance of elevating existing trade and investment linkages between Malaysia and Turkey, including through the Malaysia-Turkey FTA (MTFTA).

“He noted that the full potential of trade volume between Malaysia and Turkey has yet to be realised. He further highlighted the need for both countries to work closely to increase the existing trade volume,” said Miti.

It added that both Malaysia and Turkey also agreed to convene a dedicated meeting soonest, between the relevant officials, to advance discussions on the bilateral currency swap agreement.

In 2020, Turkey remained as Malaysia’s third largest trading partner among the West Asian countries, after the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, with total trade of RM9.62bil (USD2.30bil).

Palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products are among the major exports to Turkey, followed by textiles, apparels and footwear; rubber products; palm oil-based manufactured products; and manufactures of metal.

To date, Malaysia’s total trade with Turkey surged by 79.4% to RM6.7bil (USD1.63bil) for the first five months of this year, compared to the corresponding period of last year.

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