Turkey hosts Silk Road business summit to promote trade, investments under BRI

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At the 4th Int’l Silk Road Businessmen Summit, a Turkish official says Turkey is in the process of recovering from a recession triggered by a currency crisis in the summer of 2018 amid tensions with the United States.

TRABZON, Turkey, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) — The 4th International Silk Road Businessmen Summit held in Turkey has promoted trade and investments among the countries along the routes of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), experts said.

The summit was held on Wednesday and Thursday in Trabzon, a city located on the Black Sea coast described as a commercial gateway to link Turkey with Iran in the southeast and the Caucasus in the northeast.

The meeting attracted businesspeople from around 40 countries and regions from the world, aiming to identify and eliminate the obstacles for development and investments in the region, the organizers said.

During the summit, participants held face-to-face business meetings and negotiations with other participating organizations and companies.

Ismail Gulle, chairman of Turkish Exporters’ Assembly, said in a speech that Turkey has become an important stop in the BRI.

“The Middle Corridor in which Turkey is located turns out to be the most strategic field in order to revive the ancient Silk Road,” he said, adding that the amount of investments to build this corridor, promoted by the Turkish government, is estimated at some 8 trillion U.S. dollars.

Gulle also called on regional countries including Turkey to make the necessary investments without wasting time.

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said that Turkey was in the process of recovering from a recession triggered by a currency crisis in the summer of 2018 amid tensions with the United States, and its future looks bright.

He touted Turkey “as a hub country offering the world logistics, infrastructure, transportation, communications and energy.”

“Turkey stands glowing as a centre of attraction right at the middle of this belt,” said the minister.

Experts underlined the increasing cooperation between China and Turkey in recent years under the framework of the BRI, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Africa and Europe along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.

“This summit is very much in line with the spirit of the Silk Road and the BRI, which is all about to promote interregional connectivity in general and in the Black Sea region in particular,” said Altay Atli, an expert on international political economy of Istanbul Koc University.

The Turkish government is eager to promote the potential of the Black Sea basin and underline its future importance under the BRI, Atli said.

Experts believe that Turkey, a gateway to Europe from the Middle East, is an important country of geostrategic and geopolitical importance to promote the connectivity which is at the core of the BRI.

The first freight train traveling from China in Asia to Europe via Turkey’s biggest city of Istanbul in early November was hailed as a landmark move to generate trade between the two continents using a railway, in addition to the already existing maritime routes.

Atli said that 2020 will be a year of “take-off” in regard to implementing BRI projects between Turkey and China, which have reached many agreements in the field.

“BRI for Turkey is about expectations. Turkey seeks ways to benefit from the initiative by diversifying its trade and attracting investments for infrastructure and logistics projects,” said Atli.

The expert welcomed greater Chinese economic presence in Turkey in the past years, calling it “a good sign for the Turkish-Chinese bilateral cooperation and increased connectivity.”

Source:www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-11/30/c_138593904.htm