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French Version

Turkey and Bosnia agree to boost economic ties

Erdogan: 'Trade between the countries is low'

Bosnia and Turkey agreed Wednesday to abolish double taxation to boost economic ties, visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

"We expect that this agreement will encourage Turkish businessmen to invest in Bosnia," Bosnian Prime Minister Adnan Terzic said after meeting Erdogan here.

"I do think that at the moment the trade between the two countries is low," Erdogan told journalists.

During the first 11 months of 2004, Turkey's exports to Bosnia totaled $90 million while imports amounted to $11 million, official figures showed.

Erdogan arrived in the Bosnian capital Wednesday at the start of a two-day official visit, accompanied by a delegation of about 100 businessmen.

He strolled around Sarajevo's so-called "Turkish

Quarter," built when Bosnia was part of the Ottoman empire from 1463 until 1878. He is to visit the southern town of Mostar today, famous for a 16th-century, Ottoman-built bridge.

The bridge, destroyed by Bosnian Croat forces during the 1992-95 war, was painstakingly restored with help from the international community, including Turkey, and reopened in July 2004.

Erdogan was in Albania on Tuesday, where he offered Ankara's support for Tirana's bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after talks with his Albanian counterpart, Fatos Nano.

Such a move was of "strategic interest for the whole region and could play an important role for the stability in the Balkans," he said.

Beirut,02 21 2005
The Daily Star
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