Italian president visits Turkey to boost trade, investments

Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi arrived in Turkey on Monday for a four-day visit to boost trade and investment between the two countries.

Ciampi, who is accompanied by a large group of industry leaders, will meet with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday before heading an economic forum in Istanbul Thursday that will bring together Turkish and Italian business groups.

Italy is a strong backer of Turkey's European Union membership bid and an important trading partner. Annual trade stands around US$11.5 billion, or some Ђ10 billion. Italian companies have recently invested in energy, banking and telecommunications in Turkey, AP reported. V.A.

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