NATO member Turkey ‘seeking free trade deal with Iran’

Turkish PM Erdogan and Iranian President Rouhani

Turkey has started to work on a deal with Iran to ease business between the two nations with the ultimate goal of having a full free-trade agreement, Turkey’s Development Minister has said.

Speaking at a business forum in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Wednesday, Cevdet Yilmaz said: “The two countries complement each other. Turkey is the gateway for Iran to the west and Iran is to the east for Turkey.

“If the two nations cooperate more, it has the potential to affect the entire region. We can use this potential more accurately by not only increasing trade between two nations, but also by increasing mutual investments – especially in the fields of tourism and services.”

He said bilateral trade last year was about US$15 billion – down from US$22 billion in 2012.

“This was due to the unfair embargos and sanctions against Iran. Rouhani’s government will solve these problems with international initiatives. I want to emphasize that Turkey was with Iran in the difficult times, and it will be with Iran in the easy times,” he said…