Turkey should sign free-trade agreement with Kosovo

Rifat Hisarciklioglu, chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), said on Monday that signing a free-trade agreement and avoiding double taxation between Turkey and Kosovo is a strategic target to ensure peace and stability in the Balkans.

Hisarciklioglu, who is also the chairman of the Foreign Economic Relations Board, hosted a luncheon in honor of Kosovan Prime Minister Hashim Thaci who attends the Leaders of Change Summit in Istanbul.

He said at the luncheon that it was essential to boost trade to improve prosperity in the Balkans, pointing to the situation in north Africa as a case where high unemployment adds to civil unrest. “Those developments proved the importance of businessmen once again. It is the duty of businessmen to employ people. It is a strategic target of Turkey to ensure peace and stability in the Balkans.”

He added that they would host a Kosovo Investment Conference in Turkey in the coming days. Kosovan Prime Minister Thaci, on his part, said that he would extend all kinds of support to Turkish businessmen who wanted to invest in his country.

Sadullah Sipahioglu, chairman of Turkey-Kosovo Business Council, said that trade volume, which was currently $300 million, could rise up to $1 billion if Turkey and Kosovo signed a free trade agreement.

ECIKS / World Bulletin