By Daniel Stroe – Bucharest
The commercial exchanges between Romania and Turkey are expected to soon reach 10 billion Euros, given the relaxation of the visa regime for the Turkish businessmen, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a joint press conference with his visiting Romanian counterpart Victor Ponta.
“If we look at our commercial relations, last year the trade volume reached 6 billion Euros, but we believe that in a short period we will get to 10 billion Euros based on our joint decision” Erdogan said, referring to a visa regime facilitating document signed by the two heads of government.
The Turkish PM criticized some EU member states for not giving his countrymen the same facilities citizens of country fro, for instance, South America receive. He pointed out that, in this context, Romania’s position is much appreciated. In his turn, Ponta pleaded for the lift of “visa barriers” between Turkey and Europe.
The Romanian PM reassured his host of Romania’s “absolute and unconditioned support” for Turkey’s EU accession. “Europe needs Turkey just as much as Turkey needs Europe. I truly think that a Europe with Turkey in it is a stronger Europe, more respected internationally and clearly the European standards make us all advance towards democracy and economic development” Ponta underlined.
He also pointed out the two countries work closely on energy cooperation. “We have discussed energy projects. Certainly, the energy security represents both for Romania and Turkey one of the most important stakes of the years to come. Our ministers of Energy will work on energy inter-connection projects between Romania and Turkey” Ponta said. A joint statement on energy cooperation was yesterday signed in the presence of the two PMs in Ankara.
In the same context, Ponta voiced support for Turkey’s policies concerning Syria, as the government in Ankara prepares to renew a law which allows the Turkish troops to make terrestrial incursions on the Syrian territory amid the civil war in the Arab country.
About 7.000 Turkish companies are present on the Romanian market employing 150.000 people.