Israel and Turkey signed a joint economic protocol in Ankara, on Tuesday. At the conclusion of the bi-lateral economic commission meeting, Israel's Industry, Trade and Labor Minister, Binyamin Ben Eliezer and Turkish Defense Minister, Vecdi Gonul, signed an agreement aimed at improving trade relations between the two countries. The economic commission meeting dealt with issues pertaining to joint investments, assistance in banking and finance, ways to cooperate on research and development, agricultural cooperation and tourism deals. One of the main topics identified as fertile ground for cooperation was the medical sector. The protocol also includes a Turkish commitment to support Israel's bid to gain membership to the OECD in advance of the final deliberations that are scheduled to take place in the first half of 2010. Ben Eliezer said that the conference deliberations were successful and could greatly improve trade relations between the two countries. "We are dealing with two economies that are similar and belong to states that are close and share the same commercial challenges. We must take advantage of the physical and mental proximity in order to create interesting joint ventures that will assist in generating employment for both sides. Companies that will take advantage of the potential that lies in the relations between the countries, through agreements that were reached today and in the past, will be able to profit and succeed," said Ben Eliezer. "The assistance of Turkey, which is a long standing member of the OECD, is very important and proves the true friendship that exists between the two countries." Ben Eliezer continued. In his opening statement to the meeting, Gonul said "The economic ties between Turkey and Israel were important and we must think of ways to continue the cooperation."