Leaders pledge to strengthen Turkey, Chile relations

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet promise that countries will work to develop economic relations raising trade volume of nations

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with President of Chile Michelle Bachelet after signing bilateral agreements at La Moneda Palace in Santiago on Feb. 01, 2016.

Turkish and Chilean leaders vowed on Monday to boost economic cooperation further, having already doubled trade between the two countries since a free trade agreement came into force in 2011.

Speaking at a news conference with his Chilean counterpart, Michelle Bachelet, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasised that Chile is the “first and only country in the region with which Turkey has a free trade agreement [with].”

According to the Turkish Economy Ministry’s website, trade volume between Turkey and Chile was $562 million in 2014 but fell to an estimated $470 million last year.

“We give special importance to compensate this slowdown,” Erdogan said, before adding that decisive steps could see trade “quickly exceed $1 billion.”

Bachelet said energy, infrastructure and tourism were particular areas of cooperation where mutual relations could additionally be increased.

Erdogan is accompanied on his trip by a large delegation of Turkish entrepreneurs planning to take part in a conference, which is organised by the Federation of Chilean Industry.

The two countries also signed a deal on more cooperation between their respective government aid agencies.

Chile is the biggest producer of the world's lithium, an important ingredient in rechargeable batteries, which is used in the newly developed electric cars.

In addition, the country is a major copper producer.

The Turkish president will head to Peru on Tuesday, becoming the first Turkish president to visit the country.

Following the Peruvian trip, Erdogan will travel to Ecuador on Wednesday.

TRTWorld, AA