World Bulletin/News Desk
The Turkish-Egyptian Businessmen's Association (TUMIAD) on Friday dismissed calls by some Egyptian political movements to boycott Turkish products over Ankara's criticism of the July 3 ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, TUMIAD Chairperson Zeki Ekinci said that economic issues should be kept separate from politics.
"Turkish-Egyptian relations are between the people and not between governments; they existed even before the January 25, 2011 revolution," he said.
Ekinci stressed that relations between the two countries "are historical, Islamic and economic, not only political."
A number of Egyptian groups have called for boycotting Turkish products and tourism – along with Turkey's well-known soap operas – over Ankara's stance on the army's removal of Morsi amid mass protests against his regime.
Ankara has described the move as a "military coup," with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisting Morsi was still Egypt's legitimate president.
Ekinci said that while most foreign investors had left Egypt, Turkish investors were still working in the country where they were "operating factories that employ more than 50,000 Egyptians."
"What good would it do to boycott these factories' products?" he asked.
Total trade between Egypt and Turkey amounted to $5.27 billion in 2012, of which Turkish exports accounted for $3.46 billion and Egyptian exports $1.56 billion.
Turkey currently has $1.5 billion worth of investments in Egypt, a figure that Ankara hopes to see rise to $5 billion within five years.
The Turkish premier has also said that he hoped to increase annual bilateral trade to $10 billion.
The TUMIAD chairperson predicted that the Egyptian people would not comply with recent boycott calls "since they prefer better-quality, lower-priced Turkish products."Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Temmuz 2013, 17:48