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Turkey, Malaysia agree to improve defense industry cooperation

Turkey, Malaysia agree to improve defense industry cooperation
Malaysia our top trade partner in ASEAN region of 650M people, says Foreign Minister Cavusoglu

By Merve Aydogan

ANKARA (AA) - As two strategic partners, Turkey and Malaysia on Monday announced they have agreed to further improve cooperation in all areas, especially the defense industry.

"We are resolved to improving our relations on every front when it comes to especially using our potential well in the upcoming period," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint press conference in Ankara with his visiting Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah.

Telling how the two officials discussed the economy, trade with local currencies, investment, health, the defense industry, security, and the fight against terrorism, Cavusoglu added: "Malaysia is our top trade partner in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region of 650 million people."

With the trade volume between the two countries in the first 11 months of this year surging by 7% compared to last year, Cavusoglu noted that the bilateral trade volume rose more than 30% to $3.5 billion.

After a rise in bilateral trade of more than 30% in the first 11 months of this year to $3.5 billion, Cavusoglu added: "We must increase this figure to $5 billion and then to $10 billion. Our free trade agreement should be expanded in order to include e-commerce services.”

On defense industry cooperation, Cavusoglu said Turkish companies are "closely interested in defense industry tenders for Malaysia."

"Some of our companies have won tenders in the past and these companies have delivered the products before deadline. We have many other companies entering various tenders ... Malaysian investment in our country is on the rise as well," he said.

He added that the two officials agreed to boost cooperation in the areas mentioned as well as defense.

- Joint communications

Citing a memorandum of understanding signed in 2019 when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Malaysia, Cavusoglu said the pact addresses the "fight against Islamophobia, which covers topics like setting up a joint TV network or communication centers."

Noting that a joint media outlet especially in English would improve cooperation between two countries, Cavusoglu said a joint message against Islamophobia can be sent to the whole world, adding that a Malaysian delegation would meet with Turkey’s Communications Directorate on the issue.

Cavusoglu also said he is headed to Budapest for the sixth meeting of the Visegrad Group (V4-Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) + Turkey Foreign Ministers.

Cavusoglu will participate in the meeting, where issues to be discussed include Afghanistan, migration, developments in the Balkans, Turkey’s EU accession process, V4-Turkiye relations, and cooperation possibilities aiming at rapid post-COVID economic recovery.

- Armenia

On the topic of Armenia, Cavusoglu said steps have been taken to build trust for direct contacts which began with both sides assigning special envoys.

Saying that the envoys will meet with AtlasGlobal air as some airlines want to fly between Istanbul and the Armenian capital Yerevan, Cavusoglu said: "Our Transport Ministry is looking into these requests and some airlines' flights will begin in the coming days."

"Our wish is to see peace and stability in full in the South Caucasus," he added.

For his part, Malaysian Foreign Minister Abdullah hailed Turkey's "leadership role" in the Muslim world, describing his meeting with Cavusoglu as a "very fruitful discussion on a number of areas,” including “most importantly … on economic cooperation."

"We should follow up on the swap agreement on using our own currency when it comes to trade," he said.

Abdullah also expressed his country's interest in the possibility of using Turkey's domestic COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Turkovac.

He was later received by Erdogan at the Presidential Complex.

source: News Feed
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