Hamid Ansari urges Turkish investors

Istanbul: Vice President of India Hamid Ansari on Friday urged the business community in Turkey to increase economic engagement between the nations by harnessing the huge potential that lies untapped.

India is planning to spend USD 1 trillion on developing infrastructure during the next Five Year Plan from 2012, Ansari said. "We need more investments in roads and highways, new electricity generation and distribution networks, expanded and modernised railways networks, new and upgraded airport and port facilities," he added.

"I call upon you to harness the huge untapped potential to increase the volume and enhance the quality of our economic engagement," Ansari said while addressing the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON). He assured the Turkish businessmen that India remains committed to continue the process of economic reforms and is also working on reforms in financial, legal, education and skills development areas.

On bilateral trade, Ansari said that this year it is expected to register over 80 per cent growth over last year and touch USD 6.5-7 billion surpassing the target of USD 5 billion that the two governments had set for 2012 during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan?s visit to India in 2008. He said both countries can together explore ways of furthering mutual economic and commercial relations and take them into a higher orbit.

Describing the trend in the flow of services and investments between the two countries as encouraging, he said currently over 100 Indian companies have registered businesses, investments and operations in Turkey in IT sector, airport infrastructure, automobiles, steel, irrigation and personal care products.

He also touched upon the expertise and experience of the Turkish companies in construction of infrastructure saying it has emerged as a leading sector for investments from Turkey into India.Ansari said the next step for TUSKON should be the opening of a representative office in India to help consolidate trade and investments.