Taiwan-Turkey business association launched to promote closer trade (Taiwan News)

Taipei, Aug. 21 (CNA) The Taiwan-Turkey Business Association (?????????????) was established on Friday to promote closer trade and industrial cooperation between Taiwan and Turkey, according to the association. The group’s main objective is to increase Taiwanese businesses’ understanding of Turkey’s history, culture and trade environment and enhance ties between Taiwanese companies and Turkish business groups, Huang Mao-hsiung (???), head of the preparatory committee of the association, said in a statement. The association will also regularly organize trade delegations to Turkey to survey the investment environment there and host Turkish government and private delegations in Taiwan, Huang said. Over 30 companies and business groups are members of the association, including EVA Airways, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, and Taishin International Bank. Turkey is a hub between West Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and offers significant opportunities to Taiwanese businesses, Ismet Erikan, representative of the Turkish Trade Office in Taipei, said at the inauguration ceremony of the association in Taipei. Bilateral relations have improved, especially in the area of tourism, since the inclusion of Taiwanese passport holders to Turkey’s e-visa system in 2013 and the launch of direct flights between Istanbul and Taipei in March this year, Erikan said. “Soon, I hope that our bilateral trade volume growth can reach double digits,” he said. Trade between Taiwan and Turkey reached US$1.87 billion in 2014, up from US$1.19 billion in 2004. Yang Jen-ni (???), director-general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Foreign Trade, suggested that Taiwan and Turkey push bureau-level talks in the future on such issues as importing more Turkish agricultural products to Taiwan. As world’s 19th-largest economy with a population of 78 million, Turkey is a market that Taiwan cannot ignore, Foreign Minister David Lin (???) said, and he expected that the establishment of the association will boost bilateral trade. (By Christie Chen)