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(ECO) TURKEY'S EXPORTS TO IRAQ TO HIT 7 BLN USD BY END-2009, SAYS MINISTER.

ANKARA, Aug 12, 2009 (TUR) -- Turkish exports to Iraq surged more than 50 percent and it will reach 7 billion USD by the end of this year, Turkish state minister for foreign trade said on Wednesday.

"We aim to triple that amount to over 20 billion USD," Zafer Caglayan told reporters after his meeting with Libya's Secretary of the General People's Committee for Public Works Muhammad Matuq.

Caglayan gave information to reporters about his recent trip to Baghdad this week together with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

He said more than 500 Turkish companies have completed construction projects worth 7 billion USD, stating that more projects and business opportunities could emerge for Turkish firms as Iraq started reconstruction campaign.

Turkey and Iraq agreed to set up a special industrial zone at the border and a joint logistics center with participation of Syria as the third party.

He said final shape of these projects could be given at a meeting of prime ministers of Turkey and Iraq, adding officials of the two countries were working on signing of a free trade agreement.

Caglayan also said Iraqi government pledged to pay accumulated debt, worth around 150 million USD, to Turkish companies that sold goods to Iraqi Trade Ministry. He said first part of payments would be made next week, remaining part would be paid in a month.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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Publication:Anadolu (Eskisehir, Turkey)
Date:Aug 12, 2009
Words:228
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