23 April, 2004
The best way to understand each other is through economic cooperation, Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis told reporters on Thursday after a meeting with visiting Turkish State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursat Tuzmen.
Mr Alogoskoufis added that it was historically needed to expand economic relations with Turkey and noted ''we will do whatever we can to facilitate Turkey's European orientation''.
Mr Tuzmen said that trade relations between the two countries has made significant progress in the last few years and that this trend could continue in 2004. He noted that several Greek companies have activities in Turkey currently, while only four Turkish companies are activated in Greece.
The Greek minister said that certain technical issues, creating hurdles to bilateral relations, would be resolved by a commission soon to be formed by Greek and Turkish representatives.
Turkish companies are interested in exporting textiles, leather, clothing, children's clothes, olive oil and olives, dried food, fresh fruit and vegetables, building material, marble, paper, office furniture and mirrors to Greece.
Greece's trade deficit with Turkey jumped 71.7 percent in 2003 compared with the previous year, totalling 477.19 million US dollars.
Turkey's exports to Greek rose by 52.8 percent last year to 902.64 million dollars, while Greek exports to Turkey rose 36.16 percent to 425.45 million dollars.
Bilateral trade exceeded 1.3 billion dollars in 2003, up 47.1 percent from the previous year.
Source: Athens News Agency