Turkey and France have set a bilateral trade volume target of 20 billion euros ($24.7 billion) for the end of 2019, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said during an official visit to Paris on April 10, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Zeybekci held bilateral meetings with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire and Minister of State in the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne during the visit, held as part of the Turkey-France Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO).
“We have set the target of raising our trade volume, which was 14.7 billion euros at the end of 2017, to 20 billion euros ($24.7 billion) by the end of 2019. We will all work toward this,” Zeybekci said.
He said issues regarding the Customs Union deal between Turkey and the EU were discussed during his meeting with Lemoyn.
“We know very well that France also supports the Customs Union. We are pleased that France agrees with us and our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” Zeybekci said.
“It will take some time but we will see France’s support in EU meetings and during the process [of the Customs Union] in the coming months. We received a promise of that here,” he added, noting that talks would be followed up in June and in the autumn.
Despite not being a member of the EU, Turkey has been a member of the Customs Union agreement since 1995.
“We also spoke about Africa, Middle East regarding business opportunities and regarding trade and the economy,” Zeybekci said.
Turkey’s export to France stood at nearly $6.6 billion in 2017, while its imports from the country were more than $8 billion, according to Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) data.
The country’s main exports groups consist of road vehicles, clothing and accessories, electrical machinery and devices to France, while it purchases aircraft, iron and steel products and automobile spare parts from France.