En­hanc­ing co­op­er­a­tion

Southasia - - Briefing -

On a six-day visit to Turkey, In­dian Vice Pres­i­dent, Hamid An­sari, met with se­nior level Turk­ish diplo­mats as well as Pres­i­dent Ab­dul­lah Gul. Speak­ing on the prospects of bi-lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous ar­eas, Vice Pres­i­dent An­sari said, “[Turkey’s] econ­omy is do­ing very well. Our econ­omy is do­ing very well. The time is right to take our re­la­tion­ship to the next level.” Turkey’s con-

struc­tion in­dus­try is sec­ond only to China’s and com­mands great ex­per­tise in in­fra­struc­ture, an area that In­dia could greatly ben­e­fit from. Talks also fo­cused on In­dia as­sist­ing Turkey with IT ex­per­tise. Apart from tech­no­log­i­cal co­op­er­a­tion, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from both coun­tries also dis­cussed the se­ri­ous threat of ter­ror­ism and ex­pressed the com­mit­ment to work to­gether not only on a national but also re­gional and in­ter­na­tional level. Both coun­tries al­ready have a Joint Group ex­chang­ing in­for­ma­tion and strate­gies to ad­dress is­sues of ter­ror­ism that plague both na­tions.

The pos­si­bil­ity of a free trade agree­ment to bol­ster trade be­tween the two coun­tries was also dis­cussed. The bi­lat­eral trade vol­ume that heav­ily fa­vors In­dia jumped from $2.3 bil­lion in 2009 to $4 bil­lion in 2010. Se­nior­level con­tact be­tween In­dia and Turkey has also seen height­ened fre­quency with del­e­gates from both sides mak­ing fre­quent vis­its and hold­ing talks in or­der to in­crease mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and en­hance eco­nomic and so­cial co­op­er­a­tion.

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