Malaysia and Turkey inked their bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) on April 17 in Ankara after five years of negotiations.

The deal, reached during Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s official visit to Turkey , was signed by Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Mustapa Mohamed and Turkish Minister of Economics Nihat Zeybekci.

Under the document, the two countries will eliminate import duties for nearly 70 percent of products of each other.

The deal will allow both sides to foster cooperation through exchanges of experts and experience sharing among small and medium enterprises, and in agriculture and food, healthcare, energy, e-commerce and automobile manufacturing.

According to Najib, the agreement will fuel the bilateral trade, raising the figure to 5 billion USD by 2018 from 1.1 billion USD last year.

MITI Secretary General Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria said both countries will commence approval procedures for the FTA right after its signing, enabling the deal to become effective.

It may takes Turkey more than 12 months, while Malaysia can conclude the procedures right from the signature date, Maria added.-VNA