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Turkey eyes new investments opportunities in Uighur region

02 September 2009, Wednesday

Today's Zaman
Foreign Trade Minister Zafer Çağlayan has said Turkey expects to make new investments in China's Uighur Autonomous Region's (Xinjiang) capital, Urumqi, densely populated by Muslim Uighur Turks, as part of efforts to improve economic relations with China.

Speaking Tuesday following a meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Beijing, Çağlayan said Turkey expected to improve relations with China and that mutual investments played a critical role to this end. “We have discussed issues including trade between the two countries with the prime minister. Turkey is pleased to learn that more Chinese firms have expressed interest in investing in our country,” the minister said. Underlining that Turkey's exports to China are far below its imports from the country, he said they expected to establish a balance in mutual trade and encourage Turkish exporters to enter the Chinese market. The minister said the government sought China's support on this, with further incentives for Turkish entrepreneurs who are willing to do business in China.

Noting that the mutual trade volume between Turkey and Xinjiang is currently around $20 million, Çağlayan said the government expects to boost trade with the area in the coming years. Çağlayan said his visit was important for increasing the morale of Turkish entrepreneurs who were negatively affected by the recent clashes in Urumqi. Over 140 people were killed and 800 others were injured following violence in Urumqi in early July. Noting that he voiced Turkey's concerns about the recent events in Urumqi during his meeting with the Chinese prime minister, Çağlayan said he observed that both countries were determined to further improve relations despite the incidents.
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