ANKARA, October 16. /TASS/. President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov during his working visit to Turkey met on Friday with the Governor of Izmir Province Yavuz Selim and Mayor of Izmir Tunç Sawyer, the head of Tatarstan's Presidential Press Service Lilia Galimova told reporters.
During the meeting with Selim, the sides touched upon the issue of the need to return to direct contacts. "Despite the difficult epidemiological situation in the world, we are looking for opportunities not to lose contact with our partners, especially with our Turkish brothers. Now we need not only to fight the consequences of the pandemic, but also to think and act strategically, taking into account the new realities," Minnikhanov emphasized. "Russia is a big country. We invite Turkish business to Tatarstan to work across Russia."
According to the president, the Republic of Tatarstan has big plans on cooperation with Turkey. "Thanks to the warm relations between the heads of our states, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, our business ties remain strong. During this difficult time, we must enhance our work. Unfortunately, the pandemic has had a negative impact on the economies of all countries. It is good that both Russia and Turkey have opened up", - added Minnikhanov.
The governor of Izmir Province greeted the president of Tatarstan and supported the initiative to boost business cooperation.
On coopertion during the pandemic
During the talks with Sawyer, Minnikhanov expressed confidence that "despite the suspension of activity due to the pandemic, everything will be restored." "We will work on tourism issues, and on small and medium-sized businesses. We have everything we need to do so. At the level of heads of state, at our level. I am sincerely grateful for the attention to our delegation," the president said.
Minnikhanov drew attention to the organization of safety issues amid the pandemic. Serious protective measures have been taken in Turkey: disinfection, wearing personal protective equipment, etc. “This coronavirus will probably not end quickly. Therefore, we must learn to work in these conditions,” the head of the Russian region added.
"Your energy boosts us, we will immediately begin to implement all the agreements," Mayor of Izmir Tunch Sawyer said in response.
President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov arrived in Izmir on a working visit on Friday. This is the first international visit of the head of the region after the lifting of restrictions imposed amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. As part of a one-day visit, he met with the Turkish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, with the chairman of the board of the Izmir Chamber of Commerce, as well as with the provincial governor and mayor of the city.
A leading foreign partner
Turkey is one of the leading foreign partners of the Republic of Tatarstan. At the end of 2019, the foreign trade turnover amounted to $ 481 million, which is 53.2% higher than in 2018. At the same time, export supplies amounted to 4270.8 million (an increase of 2.26 times), import supplies — $ 210.3 million (an increase of 8.4%).
The main products Tatarstan delivers to Turkey are the following: synthetic rubber, plastic products, organic chemical compounds, oil products, inorganic chemical products, synthetic detergents, polymeric materials, wood products (plywood, timber), ferrous metal products and others.
The import from Turkey includes vehicles, mechanical and electrical equipment, products from ferrous and non-precious metals, plastics, fur, leather and glass, furniture, rubber, floor coverings, pharmaceutical and other products.