The negotiations on the free trade area between Ukraine and Turkey should be completed next year, Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Andriy Sybiha told journalists in Ankara. "There are reasons to hope that next year will be decisive," said the ambassador, answering the question of LB.ua correspondent about the situation around the FTA.
Sybiha recalled that the negotiations have lasted for seven years and the agreement is ready for more than 90%. Several remaining sensitive issues require compromise solutions from both sides, he said.
The ambassador stressed that Turkey is the third largest foreign economic partner of Kyiv after the EU and Russia.
The trade between the two countries finally shows encouraging dynamic. As of September, the indicator grew 16% after 20% dives over the past three years, he said.
Sybiha said that Turkey with 300 mn investments this year is among the top five direct investors in Ukraine.
In turn, Ukrainian capital is working in about 600 Turkish companies. "Just recently I attended the opening of excellent plant manufacturing mining equipment in the Aegean Economic Zone. Back in Antalya, there is a meat processing company owned by the citizens of Ukraine," he said.
"And still, the level of trade and economic potential still leaves to be desired," the diplomat added.
With the trade turnover between the countries at 4 bn dollars last year, the main deterrent of further growth is the absence of a free trade zone.
"The creation of an FTA will let us double the turnover within two or three years," Sybiha said.
"Turkey is a true strategic partner. Our dialogue is backed up by practical projects," the ambassador stressed. "No less important is that the dialogue is backed by the personal warm relations of our presidents, which is very important for countries like Ukraine and Turkey."
"Ukraine should understand how powerful Turkey is and that it is a key player this region," Ukrainian ambassador said in conclusion.
Reporting by Ihor Solovey, the world desk editor, LB.ua