India, Turkey to start negotiation on FTA
India and Turkey have mutually agreed to set up a Joint Study Group to explore the possibility of beginning a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA). For this, both the nations would direct their delegates to kick off negotiations on FTA; besides, motivating two-way investment flows.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in their meeting on Friday night in the national capital discussed on a range of issues including defence ties, counter-terrorism and expand trade relations.
The Turkish prime minister, who is on a four-day maiden visit, is the first prime minister of Turkey visiting India after a two decade long gap.
In a joint media statement after the meet, Prime Minister Singh said: “We have agreed to collaborate further in areas of energy cooperation particularly hydrocarbons, science and technology, culture, tourism and people-to-people contacts.”
“We both expressed our satisfaction at our ongoing contacts in the field of defence and felt further scope of cooperation in this area,” Dr. Singh added.
Moreover, both the nations have also decided to reach $6-billion bilateral-trade mark by 2010 against the current $2.6-billion that is expected to reach to $3-billion by end of this fiscal.
On the issue of terrorism, the two leaders were fully agreed to tackle it firmly and through collective action, while India thanked Turkey for its support in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for allowing for a special exemption for trade with a non-NPT country.
The matter of Ceyhan-Red Sea Oil Pipeline project was also discussed in the meeting and Erdogan assured Manmohan to begin it soon with the participation of India.
On the global economic crisis, Indian PM said that the crisis has highlighted the urgent need of reform in international institutions. It was an opportunity for India and Turkey to leverage their mutual complementarities to infuse dynamism into the global economy.
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