President Erdogan calls for increased trade, investment between Turkey and Japan

Star – During an official visit to Japan, Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on the Japanese business community to increase their investment in Turkey. Marking his first presidential visit to the country, Erdogan attended several business-related events, including an investment seminar, organized by the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU).

Addressing an audience of high-level executives from Japan’s leading companies at the Turkey Investment Seminar on the second day of his visit, the Turkish President said that once completed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), now in its third stage of negotiations, would be one of the main pillars of the strategic Turkish-Japanese partnership.

“Although on a growth trend, bilateral trade between Turkey and Japan still has ample room to grow. Last year’s figures show that the trade volume reached USD 3.6 billion,” he noted, calling for joint action to reach a trade level of USD 30-35 billion by 2023, the year of Turkey’s centennial.

The President continued by saying, “As of June 2015, Japanese investments in Turkey have amounted to USD 1.7 billion with the vast majority of these investments occurring during the last five years. Ranging from banking to automotive and food products to healthcare, the diversity and increasing pace of these investments clearly show that Turkey and Japan were spot on to form a strategic cooperation.”

“However, Turkey’s share – USD 212 million – of Japan’s total foreign direct investment (FDI) outflow – USD 114 billion – in 2014, is far from reflecting our true potential”, he went on to say, adding that attracting at least USD 1 billion of Japanese investments into Turkey per year has been set as a target.

Speaking of Turkey’s energy and infrastructure projects, Erdogan said that the Sinop Nuclear Power Plant Project, which will be built by a Japanese-led consortium in Turkey’s Black Sea province of Sinop, would mean long-term cooperation in the context of a strategic partnership. “Turkey is in need of infrastructure investments to reach its centennial targets. We intend to continue cooperating with Japanese companies in this regard,” he said.

Erdogan continued, “Turkey is considered a safe haven by foreign investors,” drawing attention to the fact that the country’s location between Europe and Asia, offers easy access to Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Over 200 Japanese companies currently operate in Turkey, including global names such as Toyota, Honda, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Rubber, and Yusen Logistics.

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