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[ 15-04-2016 ]
FTA Further Strengthens Malaysia-Turkey Relationship - Najib

From Mohd Shukri Ishak

ISTANBUL, April 14 (Bernama) -- Malaysia-Turkey ties have grown stronger since the signing of the free trade agreement (FTA) in 2014, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said although trade between the two countries soared by 48.8 per cent in 2015 compared to the previous year, more efforts were needed to ensure it could achieve the target of US$5 billion (US$1 = RM3.89) by 2020.

Earlier, Najib held a bilateral meeting with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the 13th Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation here today.

"President Erdogan also agreed that we need to do more to achieve the US$5 billion target," he told members of Malaysian media.

Najib pointed out that several Malaysian corporate giants -- Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) -- had played big role in terms of investment in Turkey.

"For example, (in 2008) MAHB started by investing (in Sabiha Gokcen International Airport - ISG) (with a consortium partner) but now MAHB is the sole owner of ISG.

"As for Khazanah, it owns 72 per cent interest in Acibadem Sigorta, a health insurance provider (with an investment of US$252 million), while TNB has succeeded in its Turkish energy endeavour (with its 30 per cent interest in GAMA Enerji)," he said.

Najib said the strong bilateral ties had enable Malaysian companies to invest in Turkey which offered a vast market of 80 million people.

"I have asked President Erdogan to encourage Turkish companies to do more to offset our investments here, as it seems our investment value here is more than that of Turkey's in Malaysia," he said.

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