Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Signing of an FTA and the waiving of visas will further trade relations with Malaysia

17.04.2014 / Ankara

Speaking at the business lunch attended by the Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato' Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak and his delegation, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan as well as the businessmen from the two countries, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that the establishment of a Free Trade Agreement and waiving visas would increase between the two countries.​

The meeting hosted by TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysian Minister for International Trade and Industry Dato 'Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dato 'Sri Anifah Hj. Aman, Perak President Dato 'Seri Diraja Dr Zambry bin Abdul Kadir and DEİK Turkish – Malaysian Business Council Nail Kurt.


TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu drew attention to the development of trade relations between the two countries. Touching on the change of direction for trade globally, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Developed countries are unable to market goods to developing goods and will not be able to do so. Rising markets such as Turkey and Malaysia will take their rightful place in the global economy. We must plan for the future today. Let us make our respective advantages the basis for our economic partnership. One of the most important factors for increasing our bilateral trade volume is the establishment of a Free Trade Agreement. Today, a Free Trade Agreement, for which the negotiations have been completed, will be signed between Malaysia and Turkey. To have the FTA come into effect will be a tremendous first step. Notice, I say only a first step, because we have great goals working with Malaysia.


The Agreement for the Reciprocal Waiving of Visas will also be signed today.”


- THY will commence daily flights


Stating that, alongside these developments, THY will be commencing direct flights between İstanbul and Kuala Lumpur as of 2014, four days each week, Hisarcıklıoğlu reported that THY is also planning to ramp the number of flights up to a daily schedule soon.


During PM Erdoğan’s Malaysia visit, a bilateral trade goal of 5 billion USD had been set, stated Hisarcıklıoğlu and said, “As TOBB, we have also set ourselves to the task of increasing bilateral trade. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Malaysian counterpart of the Turkish – Malaysian Business Council secretariat and a prominent think-tank in Malaysia, the Asia Strategic and Leadership Institute during PM Erdoğan’s Malaysia visit in January. Now, we will conduct an effect analysis in regards to sectors prominent in bilateral relations in order to increase cooperation.”


The TOBB President went on to say, “After ascertaining the current potential we will speed up and give due direction to our relations via Supplier Conferences, Investment Forums and Round Table Talks. The future will witness us take rapid and decisive steps. We will make Turkey and Malaysia into strategic partners by bringing to fore the ties of fraternity between the two countries. We will increase bilateral to over 5 billion USD. This business lunch is also a step forward. It will contribute to the relations between our two countries.


TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu went on to point out the similarities between the two countries emphasizing the opportunities this presents them in regards to cooperation.


Stating that Turkey and Malaysia are respectively gateways for each other into new markets, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Why, then, do we not turn these into advantages? Because we do not know each other as much as we should. We, the Turkish business community, want to make better use of these advantages. We are determined in this.”


- Other speakers


Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan expressed pride in the FTA which will be signed and said, “This will present both gateway countries with increased business and win-win results, presenting both the Malaysian and Turkish business communities with unparalleled business opportunities.


Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak said that they’ve set a goal of 5 billion USD for 5 years along with PM Erdoğan and stated that the business community should respond to this demand.


Emphasizing that the FTA will be instrumental in increasing bilateral trade volume, Abdul Razak pointed out the strategic importance of Turkey’s location.

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