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ERDAL SAĞLAM > Food partnership with Japan during a heavy agenda

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We are proceeding in a very warm agenda, such as Turkish diplomats and drivers being taken hostage, the spreading of clashes in Iraq and the nomination of Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu as the joint presidential candidate of Turkey’s two major opposition parties.

During such a heavy agenda, a serious partnership with Japan in the field of food was agreed on the other day. Japan’s number one pasta producer Nisshin Seifun Group and the country’s fifth biggest holding Marubeni and Nuh’un Ankara Makarnası, a well-known Turkish company, have formed a food company called “Nisshin Seifun Turkey,” which will start production in Ankara.

In a ceremony also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) chair Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu, whose family are the owners of Nuh’un Ankara Makarnası. It was an exceptional occasion, and actually, the only one Hisarcıklıoğlu has attended since he has been head of the TOBB for the last 13 years. He said the company was founded in 1946 and this partnership was a new step forward.

Production will be made in Ankara, he said, adding the partnership will use local products and a local workforce: “We plan to export 100 percent of the production. We have formed an exportation company that will see to it that the added value stays in the country.”

Nisshin Seifun Turkey will produce dried pasta and sell it to the Japanese market; additional pasta production for Japan and dried pasta production will be sold internationally. It will also produce and sell pasta-related products, such as sauces and ready-mixes.

Hisarcıklıoğlu said Marubeni will be a major support in international markets; in fact, the company operates in 67 countries. Their aim is to reach twice as many countries.

Head of the Executive Committee of Nisshin, Koichi Iwasaki, said he had the dream of investing in Turkey and that dream came true with Nuh’un Ankara.

Free trade agreement

In his speech, Babacan focused on Turkey’s huge potential and how important exports were for the economy. For this reason, he said, the investment partnership with Japan would make a good example in terms of Turkey’s economic model.

Babacan also said they wanted to sign a free trade agreement with Japan and that this partnership would also be significant from that point of view.

Even though the meeting did not directly cover that area, it was interesting that Babacan also focused on the independence of the Central Bank. He especially highlighted the necessity of not losing the confidence built by fiscal discipline and an independent Central Bank.

We hope that Turkey does not take any wrong steps that would disrupt the confidence and stability built in the economy. If the correct road is taken, the number and volume of partnerships with Japan like the one planted the other day will increase.

June/18/2014

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