The trade volume between Turkey and Kyrgyzstan must be raised from its current level of $500 million to $1 billion, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.
Cavusoglu's comments came at a closed strategic planning group meeting with his Kyrgyz counterpart Erlan Abdildayev in the northeastern Kyrgyz province of Issyk Kul on Wednesday.
"The current trade volume between the two countries is $500 million. This number must be doubled in accordance with the goal announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan," Cavusoglu said, according to diplomatic sources.
Cavusoglu and Abdilbayev discussed the issue of increasing bilateral relations in all areas, especially in political and military arenas, the sources said, adding that other topics on the agenda were the acceleration of cooperation in political consultations, consular affairs and water management.
The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding in information technologies, with the possibility of signing another one in diplomatic academies in the near future.
Wednesday's meeting was the first of a series of meetings under the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council.
Cavusoglu is also scheduled to meet Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev during his three-day working visit to the country at the invitation of Abdildayev.
Turkey was the first country to recognize the independence of Kyrgyzstan on December 16, 1991, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry's website.
The Cooperation Council, formed in 2011, “ushered in a new era in emboldening our strategic relations”, the ministry says.
Turkey has signed more than 100 agreements and cooperation protocols with Kyrgyzstan in various fields such as education, culture, trade, economy, transportation, communication, defense and military.
Ankara made a quarter billion dollars’ worth of direct investment in Kyrgyzstan between 1995 and 2010.