Irritants in India’s trade with Turkey will soon be removed, and efforts are being made to address the issue of Turkey’s trade deficit with India, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Tuesday.
Addressing the India-Turkey Business Forum here organised by industry chamber Ficci, Prabhu said as part of improving trade relations with Turkey, the Indian Finance Ministry was also looking at a proposal from that country on allowing bilateral trade to be carried out in local currency.
“We have discussed all issues and we will resolve those so as to promote trade and investments between the two countries,” Prabhu said following a meeting here with visiting Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan.
“A proposal to trade in local currencies is now being discussed in the Finance Ministry and we are hopeful that this would be dealt with soon,” he said.
On the issue of their trade deficit with India raised by Turkey, Prabhu said that bilateral business relations would have to be made sustainable.
“We cannot just export, we have to import from Turkey too,” he said.
Prabhu said discussions with his Turkish counterpart revolved around issues such as setting up of banking facilities in both countries, tapping of construction opportunities in India, and increasing Turkish commodity exports to India of products like boric acid and poppy seeds.
Earlier this year, the Indian Cabinet approved an agreement between both countries to ensure quick and transparent processing of poppy seed imports from Turkey.
Prabhu also said he is slated to visit Turkey as the head of a business delegation in February 2019.
Speaking on the occasion, Pekcan noted the bilateral trade volume last year was $7 billion and going by the data of the first 11 months, the figure is all set to reach $8 billion mark next year.
“Turkey would like the figures to be much higher along with balanced trade,” she said.
The Turkish Minister expressed hope that issues such as non-acceptance of Turkey’s letters of credit and the absence of a correspondent bank in India would be resolved before Prabhu’s forthcoming visit to Turkey.
Turkey continues to remain excluded from India’s liberalised visa regime, with e-visa facilities having already been granted to over 160 countries.