Turkey needs to increase its exports to China immediately to enable both countries to enjoy closer trade and economic relations, said Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan yesterday, adding that Turkey wanted to export more goods and services to China.
“Both China and Turkey are big economies. Their trade and economic relations are at good levels, but it is not enough. Our trade volume may easily be raised to $124 billion from $24 billion. The biggest obstacle appears to be not knowing each other well,” he noted.
China exports goods and services worth up to $2 trillion and imports up to $1.7 trillion.
“Let’s know each other more,” Çağlayan said, addressing Chinese businesspeople at the Turkish-Chinese Commerce and Investment Forum, organized by TUSKON and supported by the Council for Chinese Progress in International Trade (CCPIT) and the Turkish-Chinese Business Association and Guangdong Turkish Business Association.
China has become the third biggest trade partner of Turkey in the last decade, after Russia and Germany.
“Turkey’s foreign trade deficit however exceeded $68 billion in the last four years. The 18 percent of Turkey’s foreign trade deficit has resulted from our imports from China. Turkey wants to export more goods and services to China,” said TUSKON head Rızanur Meral.
“Turkey improved its economy to make it possible to overcome the global economic crisis” said Çağlayan.
Competition on construction
He said that Chinese businesspeople could reach over 56 countries through Turkey by making investments in the country.
“China’s direct investment abroad reached $87.8 billion in 2012 by a 17.6 percent increase from the previous year, but the share of Turkey was very small,” said Meral.
“China’s direct investment in Turkey is just around $100 million and Turkey’s in China not more than $150 million. We need to increase these numbers,” he noted, adding that the two countries could easily cooperate with each other in third countries specifically in the fields of construction and energy.
“In the world the only rival of Turkey in the construction sector is China, said Çağlayan, adding that China came first in international contracting with 54 contracting firms out of 250 firms while Turkey came second with 38 firms.
“Our goal is to leave China behind but at the same time we should cooperate in sectors such as tourism and real estate as well as construction,” said Cağlayan.
“Turkey aims to surpass China in the construction sector”.