5/20/2009

Italy eyes Turkish energy market

Hurriyet Daily News - Italian companies with more than three decades of environmental technology experience are seeking to share their know-how with their Turkish counterparts. The Italian Institute for Foreign Trade, or ICE, has decided to launch a series of bilateral talks on environmental technologies between Turkish and Italian firms. The talks, scheduled to take place on May 20-21, will create a platform for 16 Italian and 70 Turkish firms to develop ties. The event is organized in cooperation with the ICE, the Italian Embassy in Ankara and Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Adolfo Urso, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economic Development and Carlo Marsili, the Italian ambassador to Turkey, will attend the event. "We know very well that Turkey should invest around EUR 50 billion in the environmental sector up to 2023. That is the official figure according to the European Union," Roberto Luongo, director of the ICE’s Istanbul office, told Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review in an interview last week. "The ICE believes that it is very important for Italian firms to participate and benefit from such an opportunity." The ICE is hoping to conduct 400 bilateral talks at the event, he said. "This is just one of the 70-odd events we hold annually to promote Italian exports and investments in Turkey." A day after the event, Italian representatives are scheduled to visit Ankara and discuss projects on launching "technoparks" in Turkey. "We think research and development centers and technoparks will have the utmost importance in boosting a country’s development," Luongo stated. Italian companies have a keen interest in Turkey, Luongo emphasized. "Italy is Turkey’s third-largest trade partner, following Russia and Germany. The annual trade volume between the two countries stands at around USD 20 billion. The number of Italian companies operating in the Turkish market is proof of Turkey’s importance for Italy. Currently, there are about 714 companies, including Pirelli, Fiat Italcementi and UniCredit." Italian investments in Turkey total around USD 4.7 billion, accounting for a three percent share in overall foreign investments in the country, said Luongo. "We are the fifth largest investor in Turkey."

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