The Turkish-Russian Business Forum, organized by the Turco-Russian Council and the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), took place in Moscow on Wednesday.
The forum opened with a speech by Russian Commerce and Industry Chamber Chairman Yevgeniy Primakov. Turkey's Ambassador to Russia Kurtuluş Taşkent, Co-President of Turco-Russian Business Council A. Palankoyev, Co-President of Turco-Russian Business Council Turgut Gür, TUSKON President Rızanur Meral, Abdülkadir Konukoğlu, the chairman of the SANKO Holding board and several businessmen attended the meeting.
Primakov underlined that the trade volume between Russia and Turkey has increased recently and that they are aware of the imbalance, which is not in Turkey's favor in terms of energy trade. Noting that the political will of the two countries also supports Russian and Turkish businessmen, Primakov asserted that businessmen should work to fix the trade imbalance. Moreover he also said they will help them to shift the trade sectors to varying fields.
On the other hand, Taşkent emphasized his hope that the forum will contribute to boost trade and other economic cooperation between the two countries, stressing the significant role played by businessmen in this process. Taşkent went on to say that Russia is Turkey's second biggest trade partner after Germany and that Turkey is Russia's sixth partner. Taşkent added that the trade volume between Turkey and Russia reached $21 billion last year. "It seems that we will reach the $25 billion mark, which our leaders anticipated for 2008," he also said. Taşkent stressed that Turkish investments in Russia have spread to various fields and that the total has risen to $5.6 billion. "The Russian investments in Turkey have also accelerated. Turkey offers attractive opportunities to foreigners. We would like Russian investors to take advantage of them as well," he said. Taşkent stated that 22 percent of the jobs that Turkish architects are involved in are in Russia. Gür and other participants also gave speeches at the forum.
Today's Zaman with wires Moscow