The Turkish Trade Minister, Mehmet Mus, and the Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, María Reyes Maroto, signed a protocol this Friday to promote economic relations between the two countries in different areas.
Mus is in Madrid for the meeting of the Joint Economic and Commercial Commission between Turkey and Spain, where he met with Maroto and various Turkish and Spanish businessmen.
In his speech during the signing ceremony, held at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Madrid, Mus assured that the two countries have significant potential to increase their cooperation.
Mus reported that the bilateral trade volume reached USD 16 billion in 2021 and that in the first four months of 2022 it increased by 16%, compared to the same period of the previous year.
The Turkish minister noted that they are step by step approaching the USD 20 billion target agreed at the previous meeting that was held in Turkey in November last year.
“Turkey has once again demonstrated its maturity as a safe and solid supplier even in the great challenges experienced on a global scale,” said the minister, noting that his country came to the fore when European manufacturers began to diversify their suppliers, with an impact positive in trade with Spain.
Mus said that the Spanish multinationals have positioned Turkey in a better place and that the potential will increase much more if the two countries combine their opportunities.
In this sense, Mus recalled that textile products represent approximately a third of Turkey’s exports to Spain and that there is very good cooperation in terms of logistics.
Mus reiterated that Turkey maintains the objective of developing cooperation with Spain in information technology, health, defense, apart from the automotive industry and machinery, as well as in matters related to the green transition and the services sector.
The minister added that there is significant potential to enhance existing cooperation in the fields of digitization, smart cities, artificial intelligence (AI), defense, aviation and the space industry.
“We will do our best to open a ro-ro line between Istanbul and Barcelona as soon as possible,” Mus said.
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According to Mus, Spain ranks eighth among the countries that invest the most in Turkey, with USD 8 billion invested.
Mus detailed that 104,000 Spanish tourists visited Turkey, while 140,000 Turks traveled to Spain last year despite the pandemic.
For her part, Minister Maroto described the meeting with Mus as “productive” and asserted that it took place in line with mutual interests.
Maroto assured that Turkey is a very important strategic partner for Spain and recalled that the two countries cooperated very efficiently during the pandemic.
In this sense, Maroto affirmed that Turkey and Spain can face energy and raw material problems together in the current global environment.
The minister asked Spanish companies with experience in the water sector, renewable energies, aviation, the sea and defense to increase their cooperation with Turkey and pointed out that it is a very important platform for Spain in the Middle East and Asia.
More than 700 Spanish companies operate in Turkey and more than 100 Turkish companies in Spain, which is the fifth largest exporter to Turkey and the sixth largest importer.
*Translated by Daniel Gallego.
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