ISTANBUL

Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan and her Finnish counterpart Ville Skinnari discussed trade opportunities between the two countries on Wednesday.

Holding an online meeting, the officials addressed several topics, including bilateral trade, a Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO) meeting, updating the Customs Union and the EU’s measures on steel trade, according to a press release issued by the Turkish Trade Ministry.

The world is in an unprecedented period due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the business and trade environment is also severely affected, Pekcan underlined.

This crisis can be overcome with only cooperation and solidarity, she added.

The novel coronavirus, which originated in China last December, has spread all around the world and infected millions of people and caused tens of thousands of deaths.

The COVID-19 has also infected 181,298 people in Turkey, while the country started the normalization process as of June 1.

The bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Finland rose 8% to $542 million in the first five months of 2020, Pekcan said.

“However, these figures do not reflect our real trading potential, I believe that we need to take the necessary measures for our bilateral trade relations to reach a much higher volume.”

Touching on Finland’s direct investments in Turkey, she said there is a serious potential to invest in Turkey in several ares such as tourism, finance, energy, transportation, technology, machinery, construction, and environment.

She also requested the Finnish side to remove restrictions, in effect since October 2019, on defense industry imports from Turkey.

Skinnari said that there is several trade opportunities and possibilities between the two countries in numerous areas such as nuclear, bio-chemical and renewable energy.

He said that Finland is planning a visit of wide business delegation to Turkey after the pandemic.

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