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(G20) (Yonhap Interview) PM Erdogan urges G-20 cooperation for balanced world development
BUDAPEST, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that cooperation among the Group of 20 emerging and advanced economies is crucial to narrowing the development gap and overcoming the global economic crisis to achieve sustainable and strong growth.

   "The widening of global imbalances ... is a factor which will negatively affect the global recovery. I think the cooperation on this issue will continue within the context of the G-20 framework for sustainable, strong and balanced growth," Erdogan said in a recent written interview with Yonhap News Agency ahead of the G-20 meeting in Seoul on Nov. 11-12.

   "Removing barriers for trade and progressing in international trade is also critical to overcome the negative effects of the crisis, together with the development," he said.

   In a joint declaration announced at the end of the global economic forum, the G-20 nations agreed on steps including implementing "indicative guidelines" next year to reorient trade between surplus and deficit nations.

   Another important issue he named was development of financial safety nets.

   "We attach great importance to the issue of global financial safety nets, which was put forward by Korea. Nonetheless, we are aware that it is not easy to achieve great development on this issue in a short time," Erdogan said.
On bilateral issues, the prime minister urged the two countries to address the large trade imbalance in disfavor of Turkey. South Korea's exports to Turkey totaled US$2.6 billion last year, largely automobiles and wireless telecommunication devices, while imports amounted to $430 million, mainly petroleum and clothing, according to government data.

   Giving positive assessment of two rounds of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations that took place this year, Erdogan expressed hope that the deal would be finalized by the first half of next year, as South Korea's FTA with the European Union goes into effect on July 1, 2011.

   Erdogan stressed that the two countries should continue to cooperate not only in economic sectors but also in other various areas, calling the two nations "brother countries."

   Turkey dispatched 15,000 troops to help South Korea fight against the invading North Korea in the 1950-53 Korean War. Some 750 Turkish soldiers lost their lives in the war.

   "It is pleasing that for the first time a G-20 Summit is being organized in a country which is not a member of the G-8," Erdogan said. "During the Korean presidency in 2010, we have welcomed the progresses the G-20 has achieved in medium- and long-term structural reforms."