Trade between Turkey and Dubai has increased 87 per cent in the last five years, said the director-general of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"The volume of non-oil foreign trade between Dubai and Turkey reached $641.2 million (Dh2.35 billion) in 2003, as the total value of Dubai imports from Turkey hit $575.3 million (Dh2.1 billion).

"The total of the exported and re-exported products from Dubai to Turkey reached more than $66 million (Dh242.4 million)," said Abdul Rahman Al Mutaiwee.

The statement came as Al Mutaiwee received an official delegation from Turkey led by Hasan Koktas, Vice President of the Privatisation Administration in Turkey.

The Turkish delegation discussed with DCCI officials ways to upgrade economic ties and relations between Dubai and Turkey and the incentives that Dubai offers to investors and businessmen, as well as investment opportunities in Turkey. Dubai's imports from Turkey include textiles, precious stones, base metals and foodstuffs.

Dubai's exports and re-exports to Turkey comprise mainly machinery, mineral products and textile products, according to Al Mutaiwee.

In addition to Turkey becoming one of Dubai's important trading partners, the number of Turkish companies operating in Dubai has also experienced a significant increase this year, reaching 132 companies compared to only 30 in 2001, according to DCCI statistics.

"Our mutual understanding and economic potential would help enhance our economic and trade ties, as Dubai's non-oil foreign trade during the past few years increased significantly to $42 billion in 2003 (Dh154.2 billion), compared to $26 billion (Dh95.5 billion) in 2000, an increase of 62 per cent and an annual average growth rate of 15 per cent," Al Mutaiwee, said.