Turkey, Kyrgyzstan agree to boost trade volume

- Two nations share common historical, linguistic and cultural ties.

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding with Kyrgyzstan aimed at increasing trade volume to $1 billion between the two countries on Friday.

Speaking at the Eighth Turkey-Kyrgyzstan Joint Economic Commission, which was held in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said: "The agreement will serve as a road map to increasing bilateral trade volume to $1 billion between the two countries."

Kurtulmus said that bilateral trade between the two nations increased by 40.5 percent to $425.3 million in 2013. 

Turkey’s exports to Kyrgyzstan, one of the poorest of the former Soviet republics, stood at $388.3 million while Turkish imports were only $37 million last year.

“We feel that we have come to our country when we come to Kyrgyzstan, and we know that you feel the same thing when you come to Turkey,” Kurtulmus said. The two nations share common historical, linguistic and cultural ties.

The trade volume between the two countries increased 14.2 percent to $355 million during January to October of this year, with exports from Kyrgyzstan worth about $50 million, according to the Turkish Statistical Authority.

Turkish construction companies have completed over 65 projects worth $689 million in Kyrgyzstan to this date.

Turkey was the first country to recognize the independence of Kyrgyzstan, and, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Turkey has signed more than 100 agreements and cooperation protocols with Kyrgyzstan in various fields such as education, culture, trade, economy, transportation, communication, defense and military. 

The top export categories from Turkey include textiles, yarn, fabrics, clothing accessories, electric machinery, and various manufactured products. Turkey imports vegetables and fruits, nonferrous metals, textiles, and gold. 

This country of nearly 6 million people lacks the rich energy reserves of some neighbors such as Kazakhstan. Its economy relies heavily on production from a single gold mine and money sent home by migrants.  

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