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    Turkish Minister of Economic Affairs Nihat Zeybekci

    Russia, Turkey Target $100Bln Trade Goal: Minister

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    Turkish Minister of Economic Affairs Nihat Zeybekci stated that Russia and Turkey need to remove the technical barriers in trade between two countries in order to bring the trade turnover between Russia and Turkey to $100 billion.

    MOSCOW, November 28 (Sputnik) — Russia and Turkey need to remove the technical barriers that are currently in place in order to reach the goal of $100 billion trade turnover by 2020, Turkish Minister of Economic Affairs Nihat Zeybekci told Sputnik Turkey on Friday.

    "The Presidents of our countries came with an initiative to bring the trade turnover between our countries to $100 billion within the shortest period of time, which in itself is not such a hard task for our economies. To meet this goal we are now holding talks quite frequently. The main goal is to remove the technical barriers in the way of a $100 billion trade turnover," Zeybekci said.

    Zeybekci also said that on December 1, the Economic Ministers of Russia and Turkey will sign a Protocol on Mutual Understanding in the presence of the presidents of the two countries.

    The document will encompass the issue of a preferential regime in some spheres, signifying that the talks on creating a free trade zone have moved to an official level. The protocol will stipulate the specific measures required to eliminate trade barriers between the two countries, touch upon investments funding and the use of national currencies in bilateral trade.

    Answering a question on how the talks between Russia and Turkey on creating the free trade zone have influenced relations between Turkey and the European Union, Zeybekci noted that Turkey's customs union agreement with the EU only covers industrial production.

    "Services, investments, agriculture, metallurgy are not covered by the agreement. And these spheres are fairly extensive. When we say services, we mean all kinds of construction services, health care, tourism and other services. When we say agriculture we mean various kinds of seafood, poultry, eggs, cereals, fruit, vegetables and all the other foodstuffs. That means that there are no obstacles for us to [conclude] an agreement on Free Trade Zone in this spheres," Zeybekci said.

    Last December, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish then Prime Minister and incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated their plans to boost bilateral trade to $100 billion from about $33 billion in 2013.

    In July, following talks with Nihat Zeybekci, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Turkey had raised the question of establishing a free trade zone with the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

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