Turkish president sees $1 billion trade with Venezuela in 2022 By Reuters

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© Reuters. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey, June 8, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

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(Reuters) – Trade between Turkey and Venezuela will hit $1 billion this year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a meeting in his country’s capital, Ankara, with Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro traveled on Tuesday to Turkey, one of the few countries that maintains a relationship with Venezuela despite long-running U.S. sanctions.

Venezuela is “a very important partner in Latin America and the Caribbean. … We are friends in bad times. We have an exemplary friendship,” Erdogan said, noting that he opposes sanctions and will remain “faithful” to Venezuela.

Bilateral trade grew to $850 million in 2021 from $150 million in 2019, and could rise to $3 billion, Erdogan said, without elaborating.

Erdogan could visit Venezuela in July, he said.

The countries signed new deals on agriculture and tourism, though no details were given.

“Now’s the time for Turkish investors in Venezuela,” Maduro said, listing the tourism, mining, industry, oil, gas, coal and banking sectors as ready to receive new investments.

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