MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. Russian businessmen consider it promising to create a free trade zone with Turkey and are ready to start an extensive discussion of the initiative in the autumn, particularly within the upcoming meeting of the two countries’ business councils in Moscow, Chairman of the Turkish-Russian business council Ahmet Palankoyev told TASS Thursday.
The idea of a free trade zone creation has been dominating the headlines of Turkish media following the announcement of the country’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci that a respective agreement may be prepared already in 2017.
"Our business circles will be increasingly interested in this project," Palankoyev said, adding that a free trade zone particularly implies the formation of a huge multi-operated logistics hub with up-to-date phytosanitary, warehouse and customs infrastructure.
"For doing this it is necessary to create a joint structure to take coordination and administrative functions. This huge organizational and judicial work involves business and public bodies," he added.
According to the chairman, Turkish officials at various levels have repeatedly announced the idea of this project. "It has all chances to be implemented and become an important instrument for mutual promotion on Russian and Turkish companies to our markets," he said, adding though that the issue has not been discussed officially and was not dwelled upon at business consultations within the recent official visit of Turkish President to Moscow.
Earlier Turkish officials proposed to go beyond the bilateral structure of a free trade zone and attract members of the Customs Union to the project. "This model will be lucrative to our business as it will partially lift barriers in mutual trade and seriously simplify and speed up customs procedures," Palankoyev said.
The Turkish-Russian business council created at Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1988, focuses on expansion and strengthening of business ties and trade and economic relations between the two countries.