Turkey, Macedonia sign free zone agreement
Turkey and Macedonia signed on Thursday a memorandum of understanding including free zone agreement.
The two countries signed the agreement during Turkey-Macedonia Trade and Investment Forum in the northwestern province of Bursa.
Turkey’s economy minister said on Thursday that whoever invested in Macedonia would gain.
Zafer Caglayan said Turkey and Macedonia had signed free trade and industrial zone agreements some time ago, and their bilateral foreign trade reached 400 million USD in 2011.
“Our aim is to raise our bilateral trade to 1 billion USD, and to increase our investments in Macedonia to 500 billion USD,” Caglayan said during Turkey-Macedonia Trade and Investment Forum in the northwestern province of Bursa.
Caglayan said Macedonia was one of the most important centers in Europe for Turkey, and whoever invested in Macedonia would gain.
Zafer Caglayan promised to raise Eximbank’s loan to Macedonia to 100 million USD from 50 million USD soon.
Turkey’s exports to Macedonia were up 14 percent and reached 299 million USD, while Macedonia’s imports to Turkey rose to 92 million USD with a 82 percent year-on-year rise in 2011.
Turkish companies have 180 million USD of investments in Macedonia.
Also, Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Macedonia Chamber of Commerce signed a cooperation protocol on the sidelines of the meeting.
During the meeting, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said Macedonia had fulfilled NATO accession conditions in 2008 and the EU had ensured visa liberalization to Macedonia in 2009.
Gruevski said the EU told Macedonia that it had fulfilled all preconditions to launch accession talks, however his country could become a member of neither NATO nor EU due to political problems with Greece.
However, Macedonia was doing everything it could to overcome that problem, Gruevski said.
Gruevski also said that he believed that there would be no problems before Macedonia’s EU and NATO membership after the problem was solved.
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