The year 2018 will be a historical milestone in economic and commercial ties between Turkey and Japan, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on March 13.
Speaking at a reception at the Turkish Embassy in Tokyo, Zeybekci said the trade volume between the two countries should rise four or five-fold from its current level of $4.7 billion, in order to better reflect the friendship between the two countries.
The reception was organized to mark the first Turkish chicken meat export delivery of 500 tons to Japan.
Zeybekci said he held important meetings with three Japanese ministers, a number of prominent Japanese institutions and business people during his three-day visit to Japan.
“One of the most important agenda items of our visit is the free-trade agreement between the two countries, which has been maintained since 2014,” he said, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
“We have completed the eighth of these talks and the ninth will be held in April,” Zeybekci added.
The minister had earlier said he was hopeful that a framework deal could be sealed this year.
“I have great hope [that we will reach] a framework agreement within 2018,” Zeybekci told Nikkei ahead of his departure for Japan, where he will meet with his counterpart Hiroshige Seko.
“With this visit I would like to see a clear picture,” added Zeybekci, who believes an agreement could result in a pact being implemented in 2019.