Portugal awaits Turkish firms

Portugal awaits Turkish firms

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Portugal awaits Turkish firms

Air Portugal and several other state companies are slated for privatization as part of indebted Portugal’s EU-IMF bailout. REUTERS photo

Portugal is looking for Turkish investors to invest in its international aviation company, airports and postal services, which are set for privatization as part of a plan to jumpstart the Portuguese economy in 2013.

These privatizations follow the country’s sale of its electricity production and distribution company to the Chinese.

Speaking at the Turkey-Portugal Trade and Investment Forum hosted by the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON), Turkey’s Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz said trade between Turkey and Portugal amounted to around $1 billion and that this was not sufficient. 

“We only have 26 Portuguese firms in Turkey. Portuguese firms are active in the banking, cement and energy sectors here, but there is more potential here as both countries are dependent on natural gas and oil, and this provides an opportunity to work together,“ said Yilmaz. He said Portugal’s privatization agenda offered many possibilities for Turkish investors. 

Portuguese Foreign Minister Paulo Portas, who also spoke at the forum, said Portugal had embarked on a privatization program to kick-start its economy in 2013. He said Portugal was a safer country for investors than other countries in Europe. The minister said Portugal had introduced an incentive scheme, was reforming its social security system and was making its employment laws more competitive, and that all these changes would make it more encouraging for investors. 

TUSKON’s vice president, Osman Reis, said that while Turkey and Portugal had only conducted $330,000 in trade in 2002, this number had skyrocketed to $1 billion in 2010. However, he said, “While Portugal has $49 billion in exports and $72 billion in imports, Turkey’s share in this trade is only 1 percent, and this percentage should be much higher.”

Reis also said Portuguese football players in one of the leading Turkish football clubs, Beşiktaş, also helped to develop relations between the two countries.