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ISTANBUL, December 3 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and Turkey plan to bring their mutual trade turnover to 100 billion U.S. dollars in the years to come.
“Russia firmly holds second place in the world among Turkey’s trade and economic partners,” Russia President Vladimir Putin said at a joint a press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, December 3.
In 2011, trade turnover between Russia and Turkey increased by 26 percent and another 14 percent in the first nine months of this year.
“This is a very good trend and we have set the task of bringing it to 100 billion U.S. dollars in the years to come,” the president said. “I am convinced that this can be done.”
Among priority areas of cooperation he named tourism and added that 3.5 million Russian tourists visited Turkish resorts last year.
Putin also welcomed the purchase by Sberbank of DenizBank, which ranks ninth in Turkey, in September of this year. The contract price was 3.6 billion U.S. dollars and became the largest deal in this sector in Europe in 2012.
DenizBank can also provide a good basis for Russian companies’ operations in Turkey, Sberbank CEO German Gref said.
“The bank is Turkey’s second-biggest lender in the agriculture sector, and we hope to obtain a good multiplying effect through our work with this asset. We can transfer some of our modern methods there, and there is a lot that we can transfer from there to Russia, especially as regards operations in the agriculture sector and work with small and medium-sized enterprises,” he said, adding that the bank is “a good and very modern asset”.
This is Sberbank’s biggest foreign acquisition ever, and it is a high-quality asset. The bank will make around 400 million U.S. dollars in net profit this year on the Turkish market, and next year’s forecast is for net profit of 600 million U.S. dollars. “The acquisition gives us a good platform because in addition to being on the Turkish market, the bank is also present in five other countries, thus offering us a good platform for working in Asia. It has a good team and well-organised operations and product range,” Gref said.
Erdogan said that “an honest dialogue between countries open up strategic prospects for relations”.
“Owing to joint efforts our countries will achieve considerable success. We will bring trade turnover to 100 billion U.S. dollars a year and can even exceed this level,” the prime minister said.
He expected bilateral trade turnover to reach 35 billion U.S. dollars in 2012.
“Our relations have entered a period of rapid development. Russia is the second largest trade and economic partner of Turkey. Our constructions firms have implemented and are implementing 1,400 projects in Russia and have the Russian side’s trust. In addition, our companies are building facilities for the Olympic Games in Sochi and the FIFA World Cup,” he said.
Speaking of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, Erdogan said it is the biggest project in Turkey in terms if investment involved.
“Earlier 700 million U.S. dollars were allocated for the project. Recently Roastom increased the authorised capital by another 800 million [U.S. dollars]. The final sum will be 2.4 billion [U.S. dollars], which will make the construction of the nuclear power plant our biggest joint project,” the prime minister said.