Turkish-Dutch row should be resolved, bilateral ties should normalize: Business council head
AFP photoA leading business council has called for the diplomatic row between Turkey and the Netherlands to be resolved in diplomatic manners, voicing hopes for ties to normalize soon.
Turkey told the Netherlands on March 12 that it would retaliate in the “harshest way” after Turkish ministers were barred from speaking in Rotterdam about the upcoming Turkish referendum set to take place on April 16 with Turks living in the country.
According to data from the Turkish Economy Ministry, the Netherlands took the lion’s share in foreign direct investment inflow into Turkey with over $22 billion by the end of 2016.
The head of the Turkish-Dutch Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), Murat Özyeğin, said bilateral ties should normalize soon in an interview with Reuters on March 13.
“I hope the Netherlands’ move has showed a temporary political move just ahead of the elections, and it is not a permanent one. I want to believe that they would come back to a reasonable point as soon as the country’s political atmosphere changes,” he said.
Representatives from Turkey’s top business organizations have all condemned the Dutch move to prevent Turkish ministers from visiting the country, describing the move as “unacceptable” while again calling for diplomacy to end the crisis.
Trade between the Netherlands and Turkey has tripled over the past 10 years, making the Netherlands one of Turkey’s main investors.
The bilateral trade ties reached $6.6 billion at the end of 2016. Turkey’s exports to the country were at around $3.6 billion during that period.
Only last year, the Netherlands took 14 percent of share in Turkey’s FDI inflow with $956 million.
In tourism terms, a total of 906,336 Dutch people visited Turkey last year, taking around 3.6 percent of share in total arrivals.
In 2015, this figure was 1.2 million, and 1.3 million in 2014.
There are around 2,700 Dutch companies in Turkey, including ING Bank and Rabobank.
In 2012, the two countries celebrated 400 years of diplomatic ties.