Turkey is keen to cooperate with Italy through joint investment and production, the Turkish trade minister said on Thursday.

“Turkey gives priority to high value-added production, exports, medium-high technology investments and digital economy,” Ruhsar Pekcan said at a videoconference with Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Luigi Di Maio ahead of Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO).

Among the topics of discussion were bilateral economic and trade ties, transportation and logistics, construction and consultancy services, protectionist measures on the import of the EU’s steel products, and the update of the Customs Union agreement.

Noting that Italy is the fourth largest export market of Turkey, Pekcan said the trade volume between the two countries fell 20.7% to $7.5 billion in the first half due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will continue to support all kind of private sector initiatives between the two countries,” Pekcan noted.

Di Maio also stressed the great potential of Turkish and Italian business people for cooperation in other countries.

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