Rlys Likely To Fish For Business In Turkey

New Delhi, Aug 29: | Updated: Aug 30 2003, 05:30am hrs
Prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayees forthcoming visit to Turkey might see the Indian Railways getting some business there. Though Railway company Ircon International had done some work in Turkey in the past, of late it has not been involved in any business there.

Sources said Turkey had recently approached India for construction/contracts of railway lines. Discussions have been going on for a while and some concrete headway is likely to take place during Mr Vajpayees visit in September.

Ircon had undertaken electrification works on the Sincan-Eskisehir line in 1988-89 and on Sincan-Ankara line in 1993-94. The company had recently tried its luck there but did not succeed though company sources said that they were still on the look-out for opportunities in that country.

Another Indian company National Buildings Construction Corporation had undertaken a Rs 12.5 crore worth consultancy and project management for re-construction of housing unit at Adapaari, Duzec Golyaka and Cumayeri in Turkey.

Indo-Turkish relations have strengthened in the post cold war era.There is a substantial improvement in trade relations. Indo-Turkish bilateral trade figures last year were of the order US$ 330 million; this year in the first half itself, the bilateral trade has touched this figure. After the visit of Bulent Ecevit, Prime minister of Turkey in March this year, it was decided to strengthen relations between India and Turkey at every conceivable level.

India and Turkey have institutional mechanisms of consultations at various levels. Turkeys moribund and closed economy by the end of 1995 was advanced enough to enter into a Customs Union Agreement with Europe Union (EU) i.e. exports and imports can be done without duties. Turkey has captured the white goods market in EU. Turkey is now preparing to discuss in 2004, dates of its accession to EU.