Turkish, German CEOs call for more cooperation on energy and innovation

Turkish, German CEOs call for more cooperation on energy and innovation

Energy and innovation are the two key areas for Turkey and Germany to develop and deepen economic cooperation, CEOs from the two countries said in a joint declaration of the Turkish-German CEO forum organized by the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD) and the German Industrialists’ Federation (BDI), released in Ankara on Feb. 25.

A second Turkish-German CEO Forum was held in Ankara yesterday with the attendance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as Turkey’s Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan.

Speaking during the conference held after the CEO forum, Çağlayan said that strict visa regulations for Turkish businesspersons create unfair competition and they are expecting visa-free travel to Europe as soon as possible.

Merkel, for her part, said they are making efforts toward visa facilitation for Turkish businesspersons traveling to Germany, but for visa-free travel Turkey and the European Union should reach an agreement on the re-admission issue.

Merkel praised Turkey’s economic developments in recent years, adding that economic cooperation in the areas of energy and infrastructure – building railways and airports – should be increased between the two countries.

TÜSİAD head Muharrem Yılmaz stressed that Turkey’s increasing demand for energy requires more investment in this area and called on the Turkish government to liberalize the electricity and natural gas market.

Ulrich Grillo, the recently-elected head of the BDI also praised the Turkish government’s vision to be one of the top ten economies of the world by 2023, and emphasized that investments in Research and Development should be intensified in order to reach that goal.

Doğan Gazetecilik Chair Hanzade Doğan Boyner, Anadolu Holding Chair Tuncay Özilhan, Sabancı Foundation Chair Güler Sabancı and Borusan CEO Agah Uğur were among prominent participants in the forum from Turkey, while around 20 businesspersons from Germany also participated in the forum.