ISTANBUL/ANKARA 

Turkey and Italy are aiming to reach a bilateral trade volume of $30 billion from the current $20 billion, the Turkish trade minister said Thursday.

Italy is an important trader partner serving as the third-largest export destination for Turkish goods and is the fourth-largest importer for the country, said Ruhsar Pekcan at the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting.

Turkey also sees Italy as a strategic partner in mutual investments, she added.

Noting that Turkey has a young and highly qualified population, she said the country is advancing in the fields of innovation, value addition and design.

“This means joint investment, business and trade opportunities in many sectors for Italian and Turkish companies,” she added.

She also said that during the JETCO meeting, official and technical issues were discussed by the participants.

Nail Olpak, the chairman of Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), said it is important to update the EU Customs Union.

He added: “While we are also hoping for some sort of development in this regard, we are also concerned about the talk of possible sanctions against Turkey in the EU’s agenda.

“We can cooperate in third countries with our Italian friends who do business by taking projects outside of Italy in the contracting sector.”

After the meeting, the second term protocol of JETCO was signed.

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