Buy out failing EU firms, minister says

Buy out failing EU firms, minister says

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Buy out failing EU firms, minister says

Government supports Turkish firms making acquisitions abroad, Çağlayan says. AA photo

The government would like to see Turkish firms buy out leading European firms that are preparing to close, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan has said.

Some 1.6 million businesses face closure in next 10 years according to a European Commission report issued last year, Çağlayan said yesterday, speaking on a television program. Nearly 600,000 of the affected businesses are located in France and Germany, he added.

The Economy Ministry grants financial support up to $200,000 to Turkish firms that acquire European firms, Çağlayan said. Acquiring European firms also means acquiring international brands, their distribution networks and exports channels, he said.

The reason these firms face closure is that there is no second generation to take over businesses, Çağlayan said, and referred to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent call for three children per family. “This [call] is completely designed to maintain the advantage of a young population for Turkey. If it is not met, at our current pace we will become what Europe is now [in terms of demographics] by 2030.”

Touching on the new incentive scheme Çağlayan said that for the first time 95 percent of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) approve of an incentive scheme. The latest scheme is different from previous ones, as its goal is to lower the current account deficit, he said. The government solicited the opinions of some 800 NGOs while carving out the incentive scheme, he said.

‘No need for Saab’
Answering a question on whether Turkey had missed an opportunity to acquire Swedish automobile company Saab, Çağlayan said “We do not need a bankrupt firm abroad.” A total of 205 commercial counselors in 89 countries work for the Economy Ministry, Çağlayan said, and a commercial counselor close to the issue constantly updates him on the Saab issue. Noting Erdoğan’s recent call for the production of a domestic auto brand he said, “There is serious confusion on this matter. It does not have to bear a Turkish name.”