Italian Trade Agency head praises Turkish economy

Italian Trade Agency head praises Turkish economy

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Italian Trade Agency head praises Turkish economy While terror attacks periodically throughout the year as well as the failed coup attempt on July 15 in Turkey have scared away some Italian companies, the government in Rome was committed to helping Turkey restore trust, as the country remains an attractive market, according to the head of the Italian Trade Agency. 

“Turkey is still a high growing economy. There is slowing down, but not like other countries in the European Union, like Italy, where the growth rate is less than 1 percent. So we consider Turkey an important market,” said Piergiorgio Borgorelli, CEO and managing director of the Italian Trade Agency.

Italy’s share in Turkey’s overall imports was at 5 percent and there was a 5 percent increase in imports from Italy in the first six months of 2016 in comparison to the first six months of 2015, said Borgorelli.

As there was potential for Italy to increase its share in the market, the Italian Trade Agency would increase its promotional investments, Borgorelli told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview on Sept. 29.

“By promotional activities we mean activities to support our companies to improve their access to Turkish markets. That could be through participation in big trade fairs, or inviting Turkish companies to Italy for better matchmaking among companies,” he said.

The agency was also looking for innovative ways to boost cooperation, according to Borgorelli. They will work to improve Italian small- and medium-size enterprises’ (SMEs) access to big distribution chains, while work will be done to provide technical information to companies to improve their understanding of the rules in the Turkish markets, be it custom regulations or intellectual copyrights, he said.

Borgorelli also said there was a degree of loss of confidence among Italian companies due to political developments in Turkey. “But not just from a trade point of view, from a political point of view the Italian government is committed to helping Turkey in restoring confidence,” he however added.

“At the end of the day, Italian companies are looking for investment opportunities and there is still a growing economy in Turkey.

“Of course it might not always be easy to convince companies. But the government in Turkey is in place, the security is restored and it is no different than other markets. I came to Istanbul, it is a beautiful city.

“In addition capital markets support is still there. The government will continue to invest public money in big infrastructure projects,” he said.

‘Moody’s is not God’

Moody’s is not God, said Borgorelli, when asked how to convince Italian companies if they mentioned Moody’s recent downgrading. 

“I would say, what about Italians? We were suffering from the same downgrades for the past three, four years even though we started making the reforms. Turkey still has good economic fundamentals and big institutions like Moody’s are not like God and we in Italy, we know them too,” he said.