''As you know, 2005 has been declared as 'African Year' in Turkey.Economic and commercial relations between Turkey and Ethiopia have been increasing. Bilateral trade potential between our two countries, which is nearly 100 million U.S. dollars now, is envisaged to reach 500 million U.S. dollars in a short time,'' he said.
Erdogan noted, ''despite impacts of the economic crisis in 2001, Turkey is now among the world's biggest 20 economies with more than 300 billion U.S. dollars of GNP. Thus, Turkey's trade volume has reached 160 billion U.S. dollars in 2004. Turkey is still among the top 30 countries which make the highest exports. We expect positive developments in our economy to gain speed together with EU full membership talks which will start this year.''
''Turkey, which is at the intersection point of Europe, Asia and Middle East, will be the strongest and most reliable business partner of Ethiopia which wants to reach global markets. Turkey is the most appropriate door for Ethiopian exporters to Europe and Asia,'' said Erdogan.
Erdogan said, ''opening of Program Coordination Office of Turkish Cooperation & Development Authority (TIKA) in Addis Ababa shows how much importance Turkey attaches to Ethiopia which is one of the largest markets of Africa. We can cooperate especially in agriculture. Also joint investments are possible in sectors like construction,
power industry and textiles.''
The meeting was also attended by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.