KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia and Turkiye are on track to achieve bilateral trade volume target of US$5 billion before the end of this year, earlier than the initial target, said Turkiye’s ambassador to Malaysia Emir Salim Yuksel.
The diplomat noted that the pace of trade is increasing steadily and well beyond expectations.
“In 2024, which will mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations, we had a previous target of US$5 billion,” he said in a written reply to an interview with Bernama recently.
Yuksel, who took office in June, said even when the world economies suffered setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Malaysia-Turkiye commercial ties proved to be resilient with bilateral trade volume growing by 7 per cent.
The following period saw a faster pace as expected, he said, adding that it increased nearly 50 per cent both in 2021 (US$3.54 billion) and in the first half of 2022 (US$2.42 billion), with Malaysia remaining Turkiye’s largest trade partner in Southeast Asia.
Yuksel pointed out that both countries had finalised the negotiations for the expansion of the Free Trade Agreement to include services, investments and e-commerce.
“Once it is signed and comes into force, it would be another boost for our trade relations,” he said.
The diplomat believed that a currency swap agreement with local currencies will be beneficial for both sides and the central banks of both countries are negotiating to conclude such an agreement.
Besides, as two major Muslim economies, he also believed that Islamic finance, digital banking and halal industries can be expanded into other areas of cooperation between the two countries.
Yuksel also welcomed Malaysian investors to invest more in Turkiye in all areas such as food and agriculture, manufacturing, energy, transport, construction, wholesale and retail trade, information and communication technologies and services, among others.
With a very strategic geographic position and a gateway to Europe, Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa, he said Turkiye’s enhanced production capabilities with good infrastructure was attracting foreign direct investments from various parts of the world, including Malaysia.
“Our dynamic economy which has more than tripled from 2002 to 2021 is promising to be on the growing trend. Again, Turkiye’s robust domestic market and dynamic private sector is spurring investments and exports.
“It is also important to underline that Turkiye has a Customs Union with the European Union which allows direct access to the EU market,” he said.
The country is also offering lucrative incentives in many ways, such as tax deductions and exemptions as well as training support with a government agency, “Invest in Turkiye”, effectively assisting investors before, during and after entry into the country, Yuksel said.