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MINSK, November 11. /TASS/. Belarus is ready to offer favorable conditions for Turkish businesses, including in the sphere of privatization of Belarusian enterprises, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday.
"In the context of active privatization processes in our country, we invite Turkish businesses for cooperation," Lukashenko, who took part in the Belarusian-Turkish business forum along with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said.
He stressed that Belarus is ready to cooperate in this sphere "on an exclusively fair, corruption-free basis." According to the Belarusian leader, his country, "unlike Russia and Eastern European countries, has opted for the practice of pinpoint privatization to preserve leading enterprises in government property."
Apart from that, the Belarusian president said that trade and economic cooperation with Turkey can be invigorated in view of opening prospects within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). "A vast market of the Eurasian Union, with common business environment, is opening for Turkish businesses," Lukashenko said.
He said that in relations with Turkey "there are no closed or prohibited topics" and that Minsk and Ankara "are not allies against any third countries." "We have best personal relations with the Turkish president," Lukashenko said. "Trade-and-economic, credit-and-finance relations between the countries are lagging behind this level and should be improved."
The Turkish president noted that in the recent years Turkish businessmen have implemented about 50 projects in Belarus and invested $1.2 billion in that country. "It means that Turkish businessmen believe in Belarus," Erdogan said. At the same time, he admitted the existence of barriers on the path of the development of cooperation. In this context, he called for enhancing the legal framework of cooperation.
"Both countries have political will that is to make your work easier," the Turkish president said addressing businessmen from the two countries.
Turkey and Belarus plan to boost bilateral trade turnover to $1 billion in the nearest future, Erdogan said. "Turkey is the country that invested considerable capital into Belarus and is ready to stimulate the advance of Turkish businessmen to the Belarusian market, to expand contacts in the sphere of investment," Erdogan added. He noted that they also discussed developing cooperation in the transport sphere.
In particular, Turkey is interested in increasing the number of flights of Turkish airlines to Belarus. "We must do everything to strengthen trade and economic relations and eliminate several gaps in our relations," Erdogan said adding that Turkey hopes the bilateral relations will reach an even higher level. "We agreed that in the nearest future we will boost trade turnover to $1 billion," the Turkish president said.
Talking about the results of the meeting, Lukashenko said that the potential of bilateral relations with Turkey is far from being exhausted. "Turkey has long been one of our key partners. The basis for cooperation is, of course, trade and economic cooperation. At talks, we paid special attention to the sphere of trade and investment… I am convinced that the potential of bilateral relations with Turkey is far from being exhausted," Lukashenko said.
Turkey is a priority partner for Belarus, he added. "We discussed prospects for implementing projects in the spheres of machine building, construction, establishment of joint industrial zones. We also analyzed opportunities for boosting volumes of mutual trade and optimization of logistical routes, stationing assembly production on the territories of the two countries," the Belarusian president noted.