The Borneo Post (Sabah)

New Turkish envoy to further boost bilateral trade ties

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KUALA LUMPUR: The newlyappoi­nted Turkish Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Merve Safa Kavakci, has expressed her ambition to further strengthen the bilateral trade relations between Turkey and Malaysia in existing and new areas.

Kaavakci, appointed as the new envoy in January this year, said beside looking to strengthen the bilateral ties in existing areas such as defence, commodity and electronic­s, Turkey was also looking into new possible areas of collaborat­ions including investment­s and change of services.

“For the next level (of collaborat­ions), where both parties have been working on, and was scheduled to have a mutual meeting in March, are the new incentives which will cover the exchange of services and investment­s, which are the new areas that we are looking into right now.

“The (bilateral relations) are not about the domination. They are about mutual agreement in fair ground and platform of equity and equality to further collaborat­ions for mutual benefit and in defence industry, Turkey has a lot to offer (to Malaysia),” she told Bernama.

The mother of two also highlighte­d the ongoing trade ties between both countries since the free trade agreement (FTA) between MalaysiaTu­rkey was signed in 2015.

“Both countries have been working on it since, but towards the end of 2017, the trade balance is much in Malaysia’s advantage. Of course, we are very much a consumer of palm oil, rubber and some electronic­s (products).

“But areas such as in defence, Malaysia could substantia­lly see the kind of unbridled achievemen­t of Turkish scientists and engineers, where they have produced man-less planes,” she said.

Through strengthen­ing the existing and venturing into new collaborat­ion areas, Turkey’s first hijabi ambassador to Malaysia also expressed her aim to strike a balanced trade with Malaysia, which was currently heavily favours towards Malaysia.

“I would like to call it by my own understand­ing, trade and exchange. Now it is at the level of goods, of course our FTA goes to back to 2004, (but) the activation (of the FTA) is on 2015 so we only have two years experience in respect to that,” she added.

For 2017, the total bilateral trade between Malaysia and Turkey stood at RM12.02 billion, with exports from Turkey at RM10.51 billion and imports at RM1.55 billion.

Among the main export products were palm oil & palmbased agricultur­e products, manufactur­es of metals and textiles, apparels & footwear. — Bernama

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