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Turkish and Russian businessmen urge officials to create free trade area

By the end of this year, Russia and Turkey are expected to determine the boundaries of their free trade area, according to Turkish Deputy Economy Minister Andan Yildirim.

RBC quotes Yildirim as saying that for the moment the sides are holding preliminary consultations but he hopes that by the end of this year they will come to terms.

Yildirim’s statement contradicts earlier declarations by Turkish and Russian officials. For example, Russia’s Trade Commissioner to Turkey Tofik Melikov said that no free trade is possible between Turkey and Russia for the time being in view of Turkey’s obligations to the European Union (particularly, its membership to the EU Customs Union).

According to Rueconomics.ru, during the last Russian-Turkish business forum on Mar 30 Turkish businessmen expressed belief that their government would develop partnership with Russia despite the West’s pressure.

They have specific initiatives. Particularly, they suggest converting mutual settlements from USD into RUR and TRY, while Turkish construction companies have asked to lower VAT from 18% to 10%. 

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