ISTANBUL, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping called here on Wednesday for more efforts in boosting trade and economic cooperation between China and Turkey.
Xi made the call when addressing a Sino-Turkish business forum in Istanbul. This is the final major event for Xi's stay in Turkey and for his three-nation tour.
In his speech, Xi told hundreds of business leaders from China and Turkey that efforts should be made in four aspects in elevating bilateral economic cooperation, namely, to increase political trust, to explore more cooperation fields and deepen substantial cooperation, to join hands to reject trade protectionism and to enhance cultural exchange and people-to- people communication.
On the sideline of Xi's visit, a Chinese trade and investment promotion delegation consisting of over 100 Chinese business leaders signed various contracts and deals worth some 4.3 billion U.S. dollars, among which deals concerning purchasing goods in Turkey are worth 490 million U.S. dollars.
China has become Turkey's third biggest trading partner. According to statistics from the Chinese side, the trade volume between China and Turkey increased from some 1 billion U.S. dollars in 2001 to nearly 19 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, up some 18 times. The Turkish side said the bilateral trade volume hit 24. 1 billion U.S. dollars in 2011.
Since 2001, Chinese companies have signed with the Turkish side project-contracting deals worth over 10 billion U.S. dollars, among which the construction of the Ankara-Istanbul high-speed railway is the biggest joint project.
Xi said his current visit was aimed to deepen Sino-Turkish traditional friendship, to consolidate and elevate Sino-Turkish strategic cooperative relations and to advance the bilateral economic cooperation into a new stage.
Xi arrived in Turkey on Monday evening for an official visit at the invitation of Turkish President Abdullah Gul.
Earlier on Tuesday, Xi held talks with President Gul and met with Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek in Ankara. He flew to Istanbul on Tuesday afternoon and met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Xi is scheduled to wrap up his 10-day visits to the United States, Ireland and Turkey and leave for China later on Wednesday.