By Amina Nazarli
Turkey is creating a free trade zone with Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan, said Nihat Zeybekci, the Turkish Economy Minister.
Zeybekci, talking to the Milliyet newspaper, said that the necessary infrastructure has already been created in this regard.
“Representatives of the Turkish Ministry of Economy are already stationed in Nakhchivan," he added. “Trade with Nakhchivan will not differ from trade with Turkish cities. The operations will be implemented in the Turkish lira.”
Recently the two sides reached an agreement which envisages Turkey’s support to importing from Nakhchivan.
The agreement was discussed at a meeting of Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev with the Turkish delegation.
The Turkish side expressed a will to support the expansion of exports of Nakhchivan’s products to Turkey, noted systematic work with entrepreneurs and relevant authorities in this direction and informed of the interest of Turkish entrepreneurs in investing in Nakhchivan.
Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, which is a landlocked exclave of Azerbaijan borders with three countries including Turkey, Iran and Armenia.
Today, Nakhchivan retains its autonomy as the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and is internationally recognized as a constituent part of Azerbaijan governed by its own elected legislative assembly.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey increased by 88 percent in the first four months of 2017, as compared to the same period of the previous year, In particular, the exports increased four times and imports - by 18 percent.
Trade turnover between the two amounted to almost $553 million in the first quarter of 2017, $308.7 million of which was exported to this country, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee.
Turkey was the first state to recognize Azerbaijan's independence in 1991 and has been a staunch supporter of Azerbaijan in its efforts to consolidate its independence, preserve its territorial integrity and realize its economic potential arising from the rich natural resources of the Caspian Sea.
The contractual base of bilateral Turkish-Azerbaijani trade and economic relations includes more than 40 documents aimed at expanding economic cooperation between states.