TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Transportation Minister Mohammad Rahmati and the visiting president of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) and the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) explored avenues for consolidation of mutual trade ties in a meeting here on Tuesday.
Visiting Tehran yesterday for the sixth meeting of the Turkish-Iranian Business Council, TOBB head Rifat Hisarciklioglu and his delegation met first with Iranian Transportation Minister Mohammad Rahmati before the council meeting.
Hisarciklioglu told the Iranian minister that Turkey wants to improve and develop relations with its “friend and brother” nation Iran, especially in regard to the Turkish private sector.
He noted that many wealthy nations carry out up to 50 percent of their foreign trade with neighboring countries and that in addition to spreading regional wealth, this also works to create a security zone in the region.
Hisarciklioglu also pointed to Turkey’s current levels of foreign trade with neighboring nations, noting that while it had been at 6 percent of total foreign trade in 2000, the figure increased to 35 percent last year.
He said Turkey has a desire to engage in more reciprocal trading in the region. “There can be no wealth without trade. Good intentions are not enough for trade,” said Hisarc?kl?o?lu.
Noting during the meeting with Rahmati that Iran and Turkey were each others’ gateways to the East and West, respectively, Hisarciklioglu said for this reason, means of transportation between the two nations should be developed to facilitate trade.
He said one of the topics on the agenda for the Iranian-Turkish Business Council meeting would be the new transportation routes being opened up between China and the West.
“In the revival of the former Silk Road, Iran could play a historic role. There is a need to draw up a shared schedule on this among all the nations involved.”
Rahmati agreed, noting that transportation is in fact vital for supporting trade between neighboring nations.
He commented that transportation over land, sea, air and railway routes need to be developed between Turkey and Iran, noting that business figures from both countries would benefit from this development and that it would take trade relations between the two countries to a higher level.