Updated: Fri, 10 Jan 2014 07:58:57 GMT | By The Malaysian Insider : Malaysia

Malaysia, Turkey to sign free trade agreement – Bernama

Malaysia and Turkey aim to sign a Free Trade Agreement in April, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced today. Negotiations for the final round of the trade pact would begin in Ankara on Monday to Wednesdaym said Najib, who is also the Finance Minister. "Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that we sign the FTA...


Malaysia Insider

Malaysia and Turkey aim to sign a Free Trade Agreement in April, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced today.

Negotiations for the final round of the trade pact would begin in Ankara on Monday to Wednesdaym said Najib, who is also the Finance Minister.

"Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that we sign the FTA in April. He kindly invited me to visit Turkey once again so that the agreement can be signed during that visit,” he told a joint press conference after a bilateral meeting at the Perdana Putra building in Putrajaya, today.

Najib said Malaysia and Turkey have also agreed to abolish visa requirements between the two countries.

“We have decided in principle that this decision will be taken. The draft agreement has been submitted and ministries and agencies will look into it so that in the shortest possible time we will abolish visa requirements between the two countries,” he said.

Erdogan is on a three-day working visit to Malaysia from yesterday. The visit is significant as it marks the 50th anniversary of Malaysia-Turkey diplomatic relations established 1964.

Earlier, Najib and Erdogan signed a declaration on the Framework for Strategic Cooperation between Malaysia and Turkey.

To underscore the confidence in the Turkish economy and Erdogan's leadership, Najib said Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the government's investment arm, has agreed to invest US$1.5 billion (RM4.9 billion) in Turkey.

He said Khazanah, through Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) would also invest US$400 million (RM1.3 billion) to increase its share equity to 60% in the second Turkey International Airport project in Istanbul.

"The investment also includes US$1.1 billion in the Turkish healthcare industry. We will also provide whatever assistance to facilitate the increase of investments from Turkey into Malaysia,” he said.

On the joint declaration, Najib said that it would elevate both countries' relationship to a strategic one as it would provide a strong basis for all relevant parties, including government and private sectors of both countries, to fulfil the intentions and aims of the strategic agreement.

“In our discussions this morning, Erdogan suggested to increase total bilateral trade to US$1.5 billion to US$5 billion,” he said.

Meanwhile, Najib also praised Turkish Airlines to resume its four weekly flights to Kuala Lumpur.

“There's a strong possibility there could be a daily flight from Turkey to Kuala Lumpur in the near future,” he said.

During their discussions, both prime ministers also exchanged views on cooperation in various areas, including Islamic finance, tourism, cultural exchange and cooperation in third countries via Petronas.

He said both prime ministers also agreed to hold cultural year between Turkey and Malaysia as suggested by Erdogan.

“We also exchange views on international issues particularly concerning the Middle East and the Muslim world. As our two countries have been singled out as a model of democracy in the Muslim world, it's incumbent upon us to show that we can lead the way not only in terms of bilateral cooperation but also in terms of Islam and democracy.

“I congratulate on his strong leadership, I'm looking forward to work closely with him to bring our relationship to greater heights,” he added. - Bernama, January 10, 2014.

1Comment
Jan 11, 2014 3:11PM
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Malaysia and Turkey are the 2 top-most Muslim countries in terms of becoming fully industrialized countries in the near future ... almost certainly between 2020 and 2025.  Malaysia's vision 2020 may have to be postponed slightly due to poor understanding of its requirements.  Just imagine that their combined population being well over 100 million people.
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