Turkey, Germany agree to develop energy projects
Turkish and Germany energy ministers signed at the Oct. 26 Turkish-German Energy Forum a letter of intent to develop energy projects.
“I believe wholeheartedly that we will further develop our bilateral cooperation, which has already reached a certain level, by continuing our works in a speedy and result-oriented manner in the areas that this letter of intent covers,” Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said at the signing ceremony in Ankara.
He added that over the last 15 years, German companies had invested approximately €25 billion in the Turkish energy sector, and created over 15,000 jobs.
“The high investment amount demonstrates the confidence of German companies and investors in both the sector and the Turkish economy at large,” he said, adding the German businesses had made significant contributions especially in the renewables sector.
German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier was on a two-day visit to Ankara. On Oct. 25, he attended the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting along with Turkey’s Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, where the two ministers signed a deal that aims to improve bilateral trade, investments, and cooperation in the fields of industry, energy and tourism.
The bilateral trade and economic cooperation will gain momentum in upcoming period “for sure”, Pekcan said at the meeting.
“We had a chance to discuss concrete suggestions with the German minister. I am glad to see that German and Turkish business circle also share similar views,” she said.
Pekcan added that both ministers exchanged views on investment opportunities in other countries.
A possible cooperation between Turk Eximbank and Germany’s Euler Hermes was also discussed, said the Turkish minister.
“We will continue to contribute to bilateral relations between the two countries by launching more projects,” she said.
She recalled that more than 7,000 German companies operate in Turkey.
Noting that the amount of German firms’ investments in Turkey is $9.3 billion, Pekcan said: “I believe that German investments in Turkey will increasingly continue, considering Germany’s total amount of foreign direct investments [in the world] of $1.2 trillion in the last decade.”
Altmaier said the meeting aimed to establish bilateral ties on a “new ground.”
Praising Turkish economic growth potential, Altmaier said the economic ties can be improved without customs walls.
Altmaier was accompanied by a group of businesspeople, including chief executives from German business giants Siemens, SAP and EON, as well as representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s).
Turkey’s exports to Germany, which is the top export market of the country, stood at $10.64 billion while its import from the country was $14.14 billion in the first eight months of this year, TurkStat data reveals.
In 2017, bilateral trade volume between two countries totaled at $36.4 billion, up by 2.7 percent from the previous year.
Turkey attracted a huge amount of foreign direct investment -- around $5.43 billion - from Germany between 2010 and 2017, while the figure was nearly $175 million in January-July this year.
The country’s main exports groups consist of road vehicles, parts and accessories for motor vehicles and parts for use with piston engines to Germany while it purchases road vehicles, medicaments and parts and accessories for motor vehicles from Germany.
Relations between Ankara and Berlin suffered several setbacks over the past years, but both sides have taken steps in recent months towards improving ties.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a Twitter post following his recent visit to Germany: “We want our German friends to continue reposing trust in Turkey, the Turkish economy and our country’s future.”
Erdoğan paid a high-profile state visit to the country on Sept. 27-29, where he met his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and received senior representatives of Germany’s largest companies and banks.