Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Turkish Airlines, which operates services now to New Delhi and Mumbai in the country may start flying to Chennai too.

"Chennai (service) hopefully might start," the Ambassador of Turkey Halil Akinci told a meeting organised by the Consultative Committee of City Chambers of Commerce on Friday.

He hinted at the possibility of the Airlines launching a service to Chennai while underscoring the potential to improve tourists' flow from India. Apart from wooing regular tourists, Turkey also proposed to hardsell its locations to attract filmmakers from Bollywood.

Underscoring the potential to improve the bilateral investment and trade, which at present was overwhelmingly in India's favour, he said the Turkish government placed particular emphasis on structural reform efforts.

It was also dealing with root-causes of Turkey's underlying economic problems. The economic programme focussed on restructuring the financial sector at large and removing the obstacles for private sector led growth.

Reduction in the bureaucratic procedures, he said, was one of the key components of the Turkish import policy. "In Turkey, you can register your company in one day. We are overcoming the bureaucratic hurdles," Mr. Akinci said.

The honorary consul of Turkey in Chennai and industrialist V.L. Dutt said there was a need to increase imports from Turkey to reduce the trade gap. Turkey, he added, was a meeting point for the east and the west.

The Andhra Chamber of Commerce president Sailesh R. Mehta said though the economies of Turkey and India were broadly complementary, there was a good and rising scope of cooperation not only bilaterally, but also in third countries.

He said despite the recent growth, India's exports were only a meagre one per cent of Turkey's total imports.

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