Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed hope that a free trade agreement between Turkey and Ukraine will be signed this year. Speaking at a joint press conference last night, Erdogan and visiting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that double taxation and bilateral investment protection agreements should be signed. Poroshenko invited Turkish companies to participate in Ukraine’s privatisation and to use Ukraine’s underground gas storage facilities.
Erdogan said that trade turnover between Ukraine and Turkey should be increased to USD 20bn by 2020. This is a very ambitious goal, given that Ukraine’s exports to Turkey fell by 22.2% to USD 2.77bn last year, according to the statistics committee, and imports from Turkey plunged by 34.5% to USD 0.85bn. Nevertheless, Turkey was the third export market for Ukraine after the EU and Russia last year. We recall that Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatsenyuk and visiting Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu agreed last month that the free trade talks would be resumed. During Davutoglu’s visit, Ukraine and Turkey signed an agreement, according to which Turkey lends USD 50mn for five years.