Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Hisarcıklıoğlu participated in the 45th Japanese Cooperation Forum

27.11.2022 / İstanbul

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu attended the 45th Japanese Cooperation Forum Anniversary Ceremony held in İstanbul.​

Hisarcıklıoğlu also held bilateral meetings at the Forum, conveying to Japanese businesspeople his views on the Turkish economy, regional/global risks and opportunities, joint investments in third countries and developing Türkiye-Japan economic relations.

Hisarcıklıoğlu, who gave information about the structure and activities of TOBB in his speech, underlined that the Turkish business world attaches great importance to Japan relations. Stating that they want to further develop trade relations with Japan, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “More than 250 Japanese companies operate in Türkiye. Some of them are among Türkiye's largest exporters. This situation makes us happy, but we want to see more Japanese investors in our country. Japan is one of the countries with the highest direct investment in the world. Despite the pandemic, it made foreign direct investments amounting to $ 147 billion last year alone. The Japanese FDI in Türkiye is only 230 million dollars, that is, it has a share of around 1.5 per thousand. When we consider these figures, we think that Japanese investments in our country should be higher.”

TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that the potential for cooperation in the fields of energy, food, agriculture, advanced technology, defense and space industry is great, and mentioned that the energy field is a very favorable field for cooperation. Stating that both technology exchange and infrastructure offer good opportunities in terms of facilities, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Türkiye's exports to Japan are not at the desired level.  For this reason, we attach great importance to the Türkiye-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. We want the negotiations to be completed as soon as possible. The opening that Japan will provide in the sectors that are important for our country in terms of market entry in the trade of goods is very important. We expect support from the Japanese government at this point. We also believe that a new page will be opened in Türkiye-Japan relations with an FTA.”

- Achievements in the field of contracting

In his speech, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “There is also a great potential for cooperation between Türkiye and Japan in the field of contracting. 42 of the world's top 250 contracting companies are Turkish. After China, we are the country with the most companies in this list. In the first 9 months of this year, we undertook 9 billion dollars of projects abroad. Thanks to our entrepreneurial power, we boldly take part and invest in every geography. We can easily work even in the most problematic places like Afghanistan and Iraq.

The entrepreneurial spirit and local market knowledge of Turkish companies, combined with the financing opportunities and technology of Japanese companies, create a strong synergy. Today, Turkish and Japanese contracting companies are carrying out successful joint projects in third countries. The increased convergence in this area will also offer new opportunities for cooperation for other sectors. Central Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries are also important cooperation markets for Turkish and Japanese companies. We think that we can jointly undertake new projects in these regions.

The Turkish economy has shown strong growth despite concerns about the pandemic, the Russian-Ukrainian war and a global recession. Our economy has been growing continuously for 12 years. This year, a growth rate of 7 percent was achieved in the first 6 months. In parallel with the increase in industrial production, our exports exceeded 250 billion dollars for the first time in our history. Türkiye has become the 6th country that has increased its exports the most among the top 30 major exporting countries on a global scale. The other 5 countries are energy and commodity exporters. Therefore, Türkiye's entry into this ranking with industry-oriented products is a separate success. Again, pre-pandemic levels have been achieved in tourism. It has become the 6th largest destination in the world. It is predicted that we will close 2022 with 45 million visitors and 35 billion dollars of tourism revenue.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu, who also mentioned the problems experienced in the economy, also gave information about the measures taken in this regard.

- Joint investment opportunities

Hisarcıklıoğlu said: “Japanese companies investing in Türkiye have always received positive results so far. Currently, there are many joint investment opportunities, especially in export-oriented industrial investments. Türkiye has established the largest industrial production capacity between Italy and China. It is an entrepreneurial country that exports the largest industrial products. Türkiye has become the main supplier of Europe in many sectors, especially in automotive, white goods and ready-to-wear. Currently, apart from Europe itself, Türkiye is the country where the EU imports the most automobiles. We are also the first in Europe in agricultural production. Our country offers extremely attractive opportunities for investments and investors. The number of international companies is now over 75,000, up from 6,000 in 2002.In addition to the customs union with the EU, our free trade agreements with many countries reach a population of about 1 billion without customs duties and restrictions. In this context, Türkiye offers a suitable investment destination not only for itself but also for reaching the surrounding countries. Especially against the problems experienced in global supply chains, there is a strong solution partnership opportunity. Many international companies have started to build more capacity in Türkiye. They are growing and modernizing their investments. They don't have to be limited to production. 500 international companies have R&D centers in Türkiye. They are also setting up design centers and purchasing facilities.They are also turning Türkiye into a regional training and regional logistics center. As TOBB, we have always been in cooperation with you. We will continue to strive to increase this cooperation. In this context, we will happily take part in every project to increase mutual investment and trade between the two countries.”

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