Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan on Monday met with Deputy Premier, Economy and Finance Minister of Baden Wurttemberg state of Germany Dr. Nils Schmid in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
Speaking to reporters while meeting Schmid, Caglayan said that Turkey and Germany shared important diplomatic, economic and commercial ties.
"In 2013, we will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Germany," Caglayan stated.
"One of the greatest ties between Turkey and Germany are the more than 3 million Turkish nationals living in Germany. Turks have around 70,000 businesses in Germany and these businesses create a business volume of around 35 billion euros," Caglayan stressed.
"Difficulties arising from visas, the quotas placed on the free movement of Turkish products, and the fact that Turkey can not sign Free Trade Agreements with countries who have already FTAs with the EU all cause unfair competition for Turkey," Caglayan underlined.
"Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to the US President Barack Obama so that the US continued talks with Turkey for a Free Trade Agreement simultaneously with the EU," Caglayan noted.
"I would like to express that if the status quo continued, we may have to put the Customs Union (with the EU) on table as the Customs Union is now working against Turkey," Caglayan said.
Touching on Israel's recent apology to Turkey, Caglayan underlined that the apology would reflect positively on commercial and economic relations between Turkey and Israel.
Dr. Schmid, in his part, said that they wanted to visit various Turkish provinces to introduce their incentive mechanisms.
"Europe would get stronger with Turkey. We think that Turkey's entry into the EU, after fulfilling the criteria, is important," Dr. Schmid also said.