Turkey haven for Spanish contractor

Turkey haven for Spanish contractor

MADRID – Anatolia News Agency
Turkey is the first priority among Asian countries for world-renown construction company OHL, according to Juan Manuel Villar Mir, the president of the Spanish company, which has been active in Turkey for over 10 years.

“We are pleased to work in Turkey. It is an important country for us and we are happy about the projects we have done. We feel like we are in the domestic market in Spain,” Mir told Anatolia news agency.

OHL, which operates in 34 countries across the world, has built a wastewater treatment facility in the central Anatolian city of Konya as well as constructed the first phase of the Ankara-Istanbul high-speed train line. Currently, the company is constructing the railway in the Marmaray Metro, which will connect Europe to Asia via an underwater tunnel across the Bosporus.

The 1 billion euro Marmaray Metro is a unique project, Mir said.

“Maybe the Channel Tunnel [between Britain and France] could be seen as another example, but the tunnel in Istanbul is different, because it will connect two continents. Three different types of trains will run through the tunnel; high-speed, cargo and commuter trains. It is technically a very complicated project. Such a project has not been done in the world before,” he said.

“Situated between Europe and Asia, Turkey is strategically in a very important location. Its area and population are very large. Also it is a key country for peace in Europe and the Middle East. Personally, I think that Turkey’s accession to the European Union is something very much desired for all of Europe. I want this [to materialize] very much and we are ready to support it as much as we can,” he said.

Turkey is a well-administered country, according to Mir, who said he had a great admiration for the things Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had done and the decisions he has made.

“Turkey has achieved steady growth and implements successful policies to reduce public debt,” he said, adding that excellent relations between Turkey and Spain have been reflected through bilateral economic relations.

Touching on Spain’s economic woes, he said the country will start to overcome the economic crisis beginning in the second half of 2013. “I believe the worst is behind us in the economic crisis in Spain,” he said.

Crisis pulls down trade with Spain hit

ISTANBUL – Anatolia News Agency

Turkey’s trade with Spain has been badly affected by the ongoing eurozone crisis, according to official Spanish data. The failure will likely top the agenda of the Turkey-Spain intergovernmental economic summit to be held tomorrow.

According to figures provided by the Spanish Commerce and Competition Ministry, mutual trade ties were on the rise since 2004 before seeing a decline in the first half of this year. Bilateral trade stood at 3.5 billion euros in 2003, a moderate figure when compared to the 7.82 billion euros of last year.

The volume of Turkish exports to Spain declined 13.25 percent to 1.56 billion in the first six months of 2012, as imports from the Mediterranean nation also fell two percent to 2.29 billion euros.