Turkey was the first country to recognize the independence of Belarus and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 25 March 1992. Relations between the two countries continue in a favorable course.
Turkey and Belarus plan to boost bilateral trade to $1 billion, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during his visit to Belarus on November 11 after talks with his Belarusian counterpart Alyaksandr Lukashenka, according to Radio Free Europe.
“There has been some decline in the commodity turnover between our countries in 2013-2015. I think we can raise [that] to $1 billion within a short period of time. It’s not very difficult for our countries,”Erdogan said, noting that the two countries have a combined population of 90 million.
Turkish investment in Belarus now stands at $1.5 billion, Erdogan said. Some 200 Turkish businessmen are participating in a business forum in Minsk this weekend, with about 300 Belarusian enterprises in attendance.
Lukashenka said he welcomes Turkish investment and participation in Minsk’s privatization of selected government sectors.
Minsk Hosts Belarusian-Turkish Business Forum
Belarusian-Turkish Business Forum in Minsk is attended by 500 Belarusian and Turkish businessmen representing various economic sectors, BelTA has learned. According to Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich, Belarus and Turkey maintain strong trade ties. “Turkish investors have a positive experience in our country. Mutually beneficial investment cooperation is one of the topics of today’s conversation,” Vladimir Ulakhovich said.
According to him, no documents are expected to be signed during this forum. However Vladimir Ulakhovich expressed confidence that this B2B event will yield results. “We know that some companies are already ready for signing big contracts,” said Vladimir Ulakhovich. An exhibition of Belarus’ scientific and technological achievements featuring about 150 innovations is co-located with the forum. Belarusian-Turkish Business Forum has been arranged as part of the official visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Belarus, according to BelTA.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that the Turkish delegation includes about 200 businessmen who will also take part in the Belarusian-Turkish business forum. “I am convinced that our participation in this event will give a new impetus to their joint work,” the President of Turkey said addressing Alexander Lukashenko, reported BelTA.
Erdogan hails opening a new Mosque during his visit to Belarus
Erdogan hailed the opening of a new mosque in Minsk and used the occasion to skewer his critics in western Europe.
“While Islamophobia and discrimination against different religions is spreading in Europe, the opening of the mosque in Minsk has particular importance,” Erdogan said.
“This especially concerns the quarters that seek to lecture us on democracy and tolerance from time to time but encroach on the Moslems’ rights along the way.”
Turkey-Belarus Ties Reach a “new level”
Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makey on Thursday said the ties between Turkey and Belarus had reached a “new level”.
Speaking exclusively to Anadolu Agency ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Minsk, Makey said relations between Belarus and Turkey had developed dynamically.
“The trust-based, warm and friendly contacts between Belarusian President [Alexander] Lukashenko and Turkish President Erdogan helped us to move to a new level in relations between the two countries,” Makey said.
Describing Erdogan’s visit as “an important step in furthering existing relations”, Makey said they expected the trip “to give a strong impetus to economic relations”.
“The economies of Turkey and Belarus are complementary to each other and the two countries have similar positions in the international arena,” said Makey. “It is important for us to assess regional and global issues with the Turkish government.”
Makey emphasized that Turkey had a very important place in Belarus’s foreign economic policy and added:
“We are trying to balance the countries we cooperate with so as not to be tied to a country in foreign economic and commercial relations. Turkey has a very important place in our foreign economic policy.”
Belarus-Turkey Agree To Simplify Customs Formalities
The customs services of Belarus and Turkey agreed to simplify customs formalities with a view to reduce time spent for customs clearance on the border. The matter is envisaged in the intergovernmental agreement on the mutual trade assistance system. The document was signed by Chairman of the State Customs Committee of Belarus Yuri Senko and Turkey’s Minister of Customs and Trade Bülent Tüfenkci.
Abolition of visas
Stressing how the mutual abolition of visas between Turkey and Belarus contributed to the development of tourism as well as to economic and commercial relations, Makey said removing the travel requirement had been a correct decision and mutually beneficial.
“This happened not only in Belarus but also in Turkey. Belarusian citizens started to visit Turkey more. This is the same for Turkey. This affects the business world positively as well,” he said.