Erdoğan to visit Poland to boost trade ties

Erdoğan to visit Poland to boost trade ties

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Erdoğan to visit Poland to boost trade ties

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s upcoming visit to Poland will boost trade and investment between the two countries, business leaders from both countries have said.

“Poland is the most important trading partner for Turkey in Central Europe, with bilateral trade reaching nearly $6 billion last year,” Kemal Güleryüz, president of the Turkish-Poland Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), told state-run Anadolu Agency.

The trade volume has more than doubled over the last 10 years, shooting up from $2.49 billion in 2006 to nearly $6 billion in 2016, according to Economy Ministry data.

Bilateral trade is in favor of Poland, with Turkey’s exports to Poland standing at $1.9 billion while its imports from the country at more than $2.1 billion in January-September 2017, according to official data.

Polish exports to Turkey hit a high of $3.24 billion last year, up from $1.43 billion in 2006, while Turkish exports stood at $2.65 billion, up from $1.06 billion in 2006.

“I strongly believe the volume of trade will reach higher levels in the coming period with exports and investment support by Turkey’s Economy Ministry,” Güleryüz said.

He also argued that Poland has potential for Turkish investors as the country attracts foreign capital investments and has EU financial support.

“There are significant opportunities for Turkish firms in large-scale construction projects in Poland, such as housing, telecommunications, hotels, hospitals and business centers,” Güleryüz said.

“With a population of 40 million, Poland is a large market and well-positioned to facilitate easy access to other regional markets. This makes it an ideal location for Turkish companies,” he added.

The Polish-Turkish Business Forum, to be held on Oct. 17 during Erdogan’s visit to Warsaw, will help increase trade and investment relations between the two countries, he added.

Erdoğan will be visiting Poland on Oct. 17 to discuss bilateral relations including trade. He is scheduled to meet his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, and the leaders are expected to attend the Polish-Turkish Business Forum, according to the Turkish Presidency’s press office on Oct. 14.

The one-day visit will also include talks with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło, as well as speakers of both houses of the Polish parliament, the Senate and Sejm, the press office added.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry stresses that Ankara and Warsaw have no political problems between them and they “share similar approaches to regional and international issues.”

Turkey’s support for Poland’s accession to NATO in 1999, as well as Poland’s support for Turkey’s EU accession process, boosted political relations.

“Turkey is the world’s 18th biggest economy and one of the fastest-growing economies. The goal of Turkey’s economic strategy is to reach the top 10 by 2023,” said Dariusz Oleszczuk, co-chairman of Polish-Turkish Business Council at the Polish Chamber of Commerce in Poland.

“Polish exports from Turkey are just 1.5 percent of total Polish exports, which are around $200 billion ... The potential is much greater. Some Polish and Turkish experts estimate the potential to be 10 billion euros [$11.82 billion] in the near future,” Oleszczuk added.

He also said Poland’s strategic location is a critical factor for any country seeking a gateway to the EU.

The Polish government believes that the country can be competitive and have a leading role in the global economy in aviation, arms industry, car components, shipbuilding industry, IT, chemical industry, furniture and food processing.

“Clearly these sectors present many potential opportunities for Turkish companies. The Turkish president’s visit will help us to boost trade ties between two countries,” Oleszczuk stated.

Tourist arrivals in Turkey from Poland rose annually by over 33 percent to 204,834 in the first eight months of this year, according to Culture and Tourism Ministry data.