News // Politics
Economy Minister: Turkey eyes Eurasian Customs Union
21 August 2017 , 00:03Neftegaz.RU339
Following German Chancellor Angela Merkel's remarks on Wednesday stating that the customs union deal with Turkey is not going to be modernized, EU Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik criticized the German chancellor and called her statements unfortunate. Following Turkey's reprimand, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Turkey is still considering its affiliation with the European Customs Union but aspires to become a part of Eurasian Customs Union, as well.
Striving to expand its collaboration across the globe, Turkey has devised an economic partnership agenda that could tie the country to the various regions of the world.
To that end, one of Turkey's largest trade partners, Eurasia emerges as a favorable partner with whom to deepen commercial relations.
Speaking at the 85th Izmir International Fair (IFF), recognized as one of the oldest fairs in the world, Zeybekci said Turkey has not been removed from the customs deal with Europe, which took effect in 1996, but highlighted the country's goal to be involved in the Eurasian Customs Union.
Zeybekci said that work on the Joint Investment Fund with Russia continues and that the fund will start operating this year.
Moreover, he said that talks on a free trade agreement that covers services and investments between Turkey and Russia will be finalized this year or during the 1st half of 2018.
Commenting on Merkel's remarks, Zeybekci contended that the German chancellor is not authorized to make such statements.
Emphasizing that Merkel cannot make decisions by herself on updating the customs deal, the minister pointed to EU officials' opinions indicating that modernization is lucrative both for Turkey and the EU.
The Eurasian Customs Union (EACU) is a customs union that consists of all member states of the Eurasian Economic Union, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan.
No customs are levied on goods travelling in the customs union.
When exporting goods, a zero-rated value added tax (VAT) is guaranteed and excise duties are exempted if sufficient documentary evidence for exports is provided.
Goods imported into Russia from Belarus or Kazakhstan are subject to VAT and excise duties and are levied by Russian tax authorities.
Some 87.95 % of customs import duties are reported from Russia's budget, 4.7 % from Belarus and 7.33 % from Kazakhstan.
Speaking at the Turkish-Russian Business Forum - with 16 ministerial level guests from 26 countries in attendance within the scope of the İzmir International Fair - Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that energy partnership is the foundation of Turkish-Russian cooperation: «There are very good examples and symbols in this regard. The position of Russia and Turkey in the world economy is getting stronger.»
Indicating that the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project is progressing very successfully, while the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, another project serving as a lantern with an investment of $22 billion, utilizes the build-operate-transfer system and should be completed on the 100th anniversary of of Turkey.
Citing President Erdoğan's visit to Moscow on March 10, Novak said that the trade volume between the 2 countries was targeted at $100 billion.
He also pointed out that they agreed to hold a joint economy meeting in Tatarstan's capital of Kazan with Zeybekci on October 22, 2017, and that they continue talks on trade and investment cooperation.
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