Merkel’s Turkey visit excites business circles
The Turkish Economy Minister has a breakfast with German Ambassador to Turkey Eberhard Pohl and German company executies in Ankara on Feb 22. AA photoGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel will embark on a two-day visit to Turkey starting on Feb. 24, taking a delegation of German business chiefs with her and raising expectations about new commercial ties between the two countries.
Chancellor Merkel will hold talks with German and Turkish business representatives and take part in a German-Turkish economic forum in Ankara. She will also meet Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gül in separate meetings.
The high-level business delegation accompanying the chancellor and her participation in the Turkish-German business forum indicates that the main topic of the discussions will be corporate-related, including the recent remonstrance of the Turkish government to German car-maker Volkswagen.
“Prime Minister Erdoğan lays a huge importance on Volkswagen investing in Turkey and he might bring the issue to the table,” Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan told the press on Feb. 22, ahead of his study breakfast with German Ambassador to Turkey Eberhard Pohl and top executives of a number of German companies in Ankara.
The minister echoed his previous statements in last week saying he would call on Volkswagen managers to invite the company to invest in Turkey, where its models are top sellers, after Volkswagen’s recent announcement about investment countries that didn’t include Turkey. He also sent a letter, along with 42 world car giants, to Volkswagen to explain the details of Turkey’s new incentive system in the automotive sector.
Another corporate issue likely to be discussed by Turkish and German leaders during next week’s gatherings might be the possibility of a partnership between national flag carrier companies Turkish Airlines and German air carrier Lufthansa, which was first mentioned by Merkel.
Merkel had suggested the establishment of joint management for the two carriers during Erdoğan’s visit to Germany in November, and the Turkish prime minister said he had responded positively.
In December, Turkish Airlines President and CEO Temel Kotil stated that talks between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa for deeper cooperation were improving and an announcement on the issue may come in the first quarter of next year, which has strengthened the possibility of reaching more precise results on the issue.
Turkish businessmen and their German counterparts will also to tighten their economic relations at the second Turkish-German CEO Forum jointly organized by the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) and the German Industrialists’ Federation (BDI) in Ankara. The opening speeches of the forum will be made by the head of two business institutions, TÜSİAD chairman Muharrem Yılmaz and BDI chairman Ulrich Grillo.
Economy Minister Çağlayan, Prime Minister Erdoğan and Chancellor Merkel will also address businessmen during the forum.