Ruhsar Pekcan, Trade Minister for Turkey and Jim Carr, the Canadian Trade Minister met in Japan at the beginning of June at the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy. It was here where the two ministers signed the joint Economic and Trade Commissions MoU. This joint understanding aims to strengthen current trade ties, bilateral investments and forge a way for businesspeople in both countries.
Why sign the Memorandum?
Canada and Turkey signed the Memorandum of Understanding so that relations between the two nations in industry, trade, investment, and services become stronger. This is also seen as a way to increase the private sector’s involvement in trade. Government officials hope that the agreement will make way for businesspeople of both countries to trade together.
The signing ceremony
After the ceremony Pekcan explained how important the development of the trade ties between Turkey and Canada is, saying: “We believe that the agreement will contribute to an increase in commercial relations and investments between Turkey and Canada and pave the ways for businesspeople.”
Trade volume between the countries last year totalled 3.2 billion USD, however, Pekcan stressed that this figure does not reflect the real potential between the countries and should increase further. Currently, Turkey and Canada are negotiating a free trade agreement. If both countries sign the agreement, this will give rise to a higher volume of bilateral trade and create a legal starting point for trade relations. Pekcan was quick to point out what a good idea it would be to combine the engineering expertise of Canada and construction expertise of Turkey to assist in third countries. There were also talks of Turkish Airlines flying into Canada to support the relations between both countries.
Cooperation between Turkey and Canada
Carr, the Canadian Minister made a point of stating how much Canada want to forge trade relations and also increase the mutual investment of both countries. The Canadian Minister also voiced his desire to work with Turkey in the education sector.
The G20 Ministerial Meeting
Pekcan clarified that she understood why those creating the policies needed to undertake protectionism measures for some of the challenges. She added: “However, these measures pave the way for increased protectionism that disrupts global supply chains and reduces confidence in the system. Therefore, we must make wise decisions. We cannot sacrifice our future for short-term interests.”
In a speech Pekcan delivered during a session in the G20 Dialogue on Current Developments in International Trade, she stressed the importance of growth in international trade, as this will be the force that drives economic growth in numerous countries.
Turkey backs the Multilateral Trade System
Pekcan explained the commitment that Turkey is placing on the rule-based multilateral trade system. “We see the WYO reform process as an opportunity to update the WOT to ensure a fairer and more free trade environment where everyone can develop more. We must be prepared to fight for the multilateral system to work for everyone.” The Minister noted that there is much scope of negotiation but the G20 is also a platform for political dialogue and the discussions at the G20 proposed that the reform process be sped up. Turkey is a huge and loyal supporter of the multilateral trade system and sees the WTO reform talks as an important opportunity for the organisation to strengthen further.
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