Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Hisarcıklıoğlu invited Finnish companies to invest in Turkey

06.11.2013 / Helsinki / Finlandiya

Speaking at the Turkey – Finland Business Forum which took place in Helsinki, TOBB/DEİK President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the economic relations between turkey and Finland were not at the level they deserved to be and invited Finnish companies to invest in Turkey.​

Explaining that they, the Turkish business community, are working towards the goal of making Turkey one of the 10 largest economies in the world, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “In this regard, we have achieved significant progress as a country. We have achieved stability in the economy. We broke growth records while Europe shrunk in the global crisis. We have improved the investment environment, lowering bureaucracy to remove obstacles to foreign investors.


We have tripled our per capita income in the last 10 years. We have become an industrial country which markets over 20,000 goods to over 200 countries. These are only a few of our achievements. The economic transformation we have brought about has enabled us to reach an export volume of 155 billion USD.”


- Our exports to Finland are only 300 million USD


Stating that they selling more than half of their goods in the most competitive markets in the world, Europe and America, the TOBB President said that they stand out with the quality of their goods, however, their exports to Finland which imports 80 billion USD worth of goods every year add up to only 300 million USD.


Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that the trade figures are the biggest indicator that the two countries do not know each other. Stressing that Finland is one of the strongest countries in the world in regards to competitive power in high tech, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “How much, then, do you sell to one of the fastest growing countries in the world, which imports 230 billion USD – Turkey? Only 1.1 billion USD. That is what we are here to change. I believe that the experienced Finland and the dynamic Turkey will make great partners.”


- “I invite Finnish companies to invest in Turkey”


“We are two countries which have complementary production structures, not rivals,” said the TOBB President and went on, “If we are able to take advantage of opportunities, I believe that the two countries could write another growth epic in Europe.


I am of the opinion that there is significant potential in the field of investment in addition to trade. Turkey has drawn in 123 billion USD in direct investments in the last 10 years. The Finnish business community has invested 5 billion USD in Turkey this year. But we can do so much more than this.


Before you, I invite Finnish companies to invest in Turkey. Let’s develop joint projects in high tech and IT. Let us form an exemplary partnership for the 21st century


Turkey is Finland’s gateway to a market worth 1 billion USD spanning the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa.


We can cooperate and form partnerships in many fields throughout this huge region. Significant opportunities are offered by this region where rapid population increase and a fast developing middle class are present.”


- “We are subject to unfair treatment in both the membership negotiations as well as the Customs Union”


Reminding that Turkey’s membership status in the European Union was announced during Finland’s term presidency, the TOBB President stated that Finland is an important actor in Turkey’s membership process with its friendly and constructive conduct.


Explaining that Turkey is subject to unfair treatment in both the membership negotiations as well as the Customs Union, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Through unfair visa and transportation quotas, the competitive power of Turkish companies is being weakened in the European market. Turkey’s most respectable businessmen and opinion leaders are present in this hall today. They’ve come to visit your county as a part our Prime Minister’s official visit.


Unfortunately, we’ve all had to go through visa procedures. This is as much the European Union’s problem as it is ours. We anticipate your support in our endeavor against these unjust procedures.”


Expressing that they are thoroughly agitated that Turkey is not included in free trade agreements signed by the EU, Hisarcıklıoğlu continued his speech, “Especially recently, talks for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership have begun between the USA and the European Union have begun.


In the interest of Turkey as much as it is in the interest of the European Union, it is imperative that Turkey is party to this agreement which will redefine the rules of global trade. We believe that, as the Turkish business community, in line with the philosophy of the Customs Union, we must have a word in these talks and be a party to these negotiations. Let me state clearly that we expect an invitation from the European Union to the TTIP negotiations.”


Following Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu’s speech, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan spoke about the economic developments in Turkey, being one of the most foreign investment attracting countries in the world.


Attending the business forum were Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, EU Minister Egemen Bağış, TİM President Mehmet Büyükekşi as well as Turkish and Finnish businessmen.

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