Invest News DetailZaman - Businesspeople from Turkey and Italy are convening in a four-day conference in Istanbul, looking into ways to further strengthen trade and business ties between the two Mediterranean countries. Turkey offers Italian investors a safe haven with its rapidly growing economy and proven resilience to the financial crisis, said Deputy Undersecretary of Turkey’s Ministry of Economy, Cemalettin Damlaci at yesterday’s meeting. Investment opportunities in the fields of energy, transportation, ICT and construction, augmented with the new incentive scheme, exist for Italian companies, said Damlaci. Turkey’s location offers a lot for Italian companies in reaching the markets in Central Asia and the Middle East, Chairman of Italy’s National Institute for Foreign Trade (ICE), Riccardo Monti said, adding that a quality increase in Turkey’s manufacturing along with expanding export markets made the country an ideal choice for investments. Some 160 companies, 23 business associations and 10 banks from Italy are attending the forum, which will continue with business-to-business meetings tomorrow. The trade volume between Turkey and Italy reached USD 21 billion last year, Italy being the fourth largest trade partner of Turkey. The number of Italian companies in Turkey has risen tenfold in the last five years, exceeding 850.