Turkey to transport BTC oil to India

Nov 24, 2008 01:00 AM

Turkey will transport oil to India via an extension of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, which transports Azerbaijani oil to international markets, according to an agreement the two countries signed during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to the subcontinent.
India, with its 1.2 bn people, has one of the highest demands for oil in the world. In February, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan also visited the country and said that oil would be transported to India either via the Mediterranean or a pipeline built under the sea.

Speaking at a Turkish-Indian Business Forum meeting in New Delhi and referring to the global economic crisis, Erdogan said it was time to invest.
"It is time for employment and production," he said. "If these goals are reached, the crisis will turn into opportunities for countries."
"The businessmen of Turkey and India have a great responsibility to cooperate with each other in economic matters," he said. "As the government, we are developing the appropriate climate for investment and commerce. It is our duty to remove obstacles, ease processes and encourage businessmen. I believe that the businessmen of Turkey and India will walk on the path we develop and contribute to the development of the two countries."

Stressing that Turkey and India are heirs to two great civilizations, Erdogan said, "Turkey will never forget the support the Indian people gave to the Turks during the Turkish War of Independence."
"It is highly important for Turkey and India, two great powers and economies in their region, to cooperate in order to get through the global economic crisis and to turn the crisis into an opportunity," he said.

Erdogan added that Turkey was the intersection of the energy, trade and transportation routes between three continents, and he called on Indian businessmen to make investments in Turkey. Noting that Turkey had a rapidly growing economy, he said it acted as a bridge between the Islamic world and the West with its multicultural structure.
"Turkey is the meeting point of different cultures and civilizations," he said.
Erdogan also said that the Ceyhan-Red Sea oil pipeline project, which will allow oil to be transported to India through the Red Sea, would be implemented soon with India's participation.

Before attending the Turkish-Indian Business Forum meeting, Erdogan was received by Indian President Pratibha Patil and had talks with Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee. In addition, Erdogan said Turkey and India had deep historical ties and that no political problems existed between the two countries. He also noted that Turkey had been trying to boost its political, economic, military, commercial and cultural relations with India for five years.
Minister for Trade and Industry Zafer Caglayan has said greater attention should be paid to domestic goods and products in public procurement.

Speaking in New Delhi, where he was accompanying Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on an official visit, Caglayan touched on the subject of current economic developments, noting that choosing domestic products will strengthen Turkey's internal market. Stressing that Turkey has a strong and dynamic internal market, Caglayan added that this does not diminish the importance of paying attention to Turkey's development.
"We have to devote our efforts to strengthening our domestic market," he explained.

He stressed that although the ongoing global financial crisis is rocking European markets, Turkey's export opportunities will not deteriorate.
"We have to consider economic strategy based on the current conditions. We have been sensitive to inflation and fiscal discipline; however, there is a serious global economic crisis going on in the world. It has started showing its effects in Turkey. In such an environment, we have to take measures to improve employment opportunities and enhance trade options," he said.

In response to a question about whether there would be any reductions in tax rates and electricity and natural gas prices, Caglayan, noted that the private sector is currently struggling with problems.
"These are issues that need to be discussed at the Economic Coordination Board [EKK]. For this reason, as the prime minister has said, they have to be studied there. We have a roadmap ahead of us. Budget discipline depends on the midterm program. One of Turkey's greatest advantages in this crisis is the ratio of public debt to gross national product [GNP]. This is one of the factors that make Turkey strong. It was not like this in 2001."

Caglayan recalled that his ministry is conducting studies on how 224 sectors would be affected by the global crisis, adding that they are developing a better understanding of debt, receivables, exports and internal market sales in these sectors by virtue of such efforts.
Meanwhile, it is expected that the EKK will convene to discuss the requests of the real sector and new economic measures, including changing the country's limit on bank deposit guarantees -- currently set at YTL 50,000.

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