The Turkish – Slovakian Relationship Experinces Its Golden Era5 Ekim 2013
A delegation of the International Turkish-Ukrainian Businessmen Association (TUİD) that included Vice Chairman Burak Pehlivan, Member of the Executive Board Aziz Şimşek and Istanbul Representative Mehmet Seyfettin Küçük, paid a visit to Slovakia, within the framework of the project of establishing the Union of the Eastern European Turkish Businessmen Associations (DAİB). At the visit, the delegation was met by the Anbassador of Turkey in Slovakia Mrs. Gülhan Ulutekin. At the meeting was also present Commercial Counsellor of Turkey in Bratislava Mrs. Yeşim Bayam Pakmeşe. At the beginning of the meeting, Vice Chairman of Turkish Ukrainian Businessmen Association Burak Pehlivan mede a presentation on TUİD and on their DİAB project. Pehlivan, in his presentation told that Slovakia, being one of the neighrouring states of Ukraine has a key importance for Ukraine and especially in case of conclusion of free trade agreement between Ukraine and the EU, the trade volume between Ukraine and Slovakia will considerably increase and Turkish businessmen in Ukraine will be able to sell their products to Slovakia in more convenient conditions, thus, there will be new and mutual opportunities. Pehlivan said “Slovakia has a great capital stock. It has managed to get cumulatively 12.000 USD foreign capital per person only in 20 years. It has a great production power and large amount of export. For example, although Slovakia has a population of only 5,5 million people, it conducts automobile export in the same with Turkey’s automobile export. This situation must be taken as a model ”. Turkey’s Ambassador in Slovakia Gülhan Ulutekin, in her turn expressed her satisfaction for meeting with TUİD delegation and said that they want Turkish businessmen to show more interest to Slovakia. Ambassador Ulutekin stated that in recent years the Turkish-Slovakian relationship gained a very good momentum, Turkey unilaterally lifted visa regime for Slovakian citizens and that Turkey is the most preferred destination for tourists from Slovakia. Having told that Slovakia attaches particular importance to cooperation witj Trurkey especially in the spheres of nuclear energy and coal and Turkey has been perceived as a gate to the region, Ambassador Ulutekin called Turkish businessmen to benefit from the investment opportunities in Slovakia.
Turkey’s Trade Counsellor in Slovakia Mrs, Yeşim Bayam Pakbeşe told that in Slovakia, approximately 50 Turkish firms have a total investment amount of 50 million USD Dolalrs, however, it is possible to increase the amount of Turkish investors to a much higher level. Pakbeşe said “we have a serious amount of trade deficit in our commercial relations with Slovakia, where we have export amount of nearly 400 million dollars, whie on the other hand our import from this country is approximately 870 million dollars. However, if Turkish businessmen will be interested in this country which has an annual import amount of 80 billion dollars, this gap will be closed”. The Trade Counsellor stated that although the office of commercial counsellor of Turkey in Slovakia was established only two years ago, it managed to give a remarkable momentum to the bilateral commercial relations and said that in Slovakia, there is an intensive competition among the companies, for this reason, the companies, which are planning to enter Slovakian market must be patient and attach importance to marketing and advertisement activities.
Representative of TUİD in Istanbul Mehmet Seyfettin Küçük, in his turn said that in the past he had visited Slovakia a few times and Slovakia has a strong investment infrastructure and it gives important incentives to foreign capital. Küçük reiterated that Slovakia, which is only 70 km away from Vienna and which, in contrast with Hungary, theCzech Republic and Poland exists in euro zone, must be in the agenda of Turkish businessmen. Mehmet Küçük stated that, the next destination of the TUİD delegation within the framework of the DAİB project will be Moscow and thanked to the Ambassador Ulutekin and the Trade Councellor Pakbeşe, for their hospitality.