ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The Australian state of Victoria’s capital Melbourne eyes becoming a new destination of Turkey’s national carrier company, Turkish Airlines, says Victorian government minister Louise Asher
Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier, has decided to fly to Australia but has not yet picked a particular city. DHA photo
Melbourne, the capital city of the Australian state of Victoria, is pushing to become a new destination for direct Turkish Airlines flights, as the national flag carrier has decided to fly to the country but has not yet picked a particular city to do so, Victorian government minister Louise Asher told the Daily News yesterday, hours before a meeting with the Turkish Airlines officials in Istanbul.
Victoria, one of the six states of Australia, is responsible for one fourth of the overall economy, as Melbourne is home to many international events such as the Australian Open tennis cup, Formula 1 Grand Prix and Melbourne Cup, one of the leading horse races, said Asher, who is responsible for many fields including, tourism, innovation, small and medium enterprises (SME) and major events.
An Australian official told the Daily News that Turkish Airlines could be waiting for a new plane to launch direct flights to the country. The number of Australian citizens of Turkish descent living in Victoria stands at around 30,000.
A large Australian mission lead by Asher visited Turkey to develop business ties, particularly in the fields of infrastructure, equine, marine industry and education.
Asher was also expected to sign an education protocol over a student exchange program with Turkish officials today in the capital city of Ankara. Australian education companies have a lot to offer Turkey in terms of colloquium exchange and language training, she said. There are currently 500 Turkish students in the country.
Lack of sufficient number of English-language speakers in Turkey is one of the main obstacles for local firms, according to several studies, and Asher said Australia had an abundance of English teachers to export.
“The strict regulations in the country eliminate insufficient companies in the sector,” she said.
Victoria, with a population just over 5 million, is offering “a secure investment environment” for Turkish businesspeople, Asher said. “This is a two way street,” she added, calling on Turkish businesses to discover opportunities in the region.
The overall exports of the region stood at AUS$15.9 billion.
Asher also noted the country’s tourism sector, mainly dominated by Chinese visitors, was looking forward to seeing more Turkish tourists and tourism is one of its leading fields.
The two-day mission is part of a larger Australian trade goal to deepen relations with the Middle East and North Africa, and was comprised of 220 business people representing 170 companies.
Australia has been running a regional office based in Dubai for about 15 years.