A global trade and investment summit organized by the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) in İstanbul has seen companies from around the globe ink deals worth millions of dollars in construction and furniture.
The Turkey-World Trade Bridge summit, which kicked off on Wednesday, continued with business-to-business (B2B) meetings between companies on Thursday. Both participants and TUSKON officials say this year's meeting has harvested better results than expected. A total of 1,300 people from 135 countries have discussed and agreed on investment deals during the thousands of B2B meetings over the past two days.
TUSKON Chairman Rızanur Meral told reporters on Thursday in İstanbul they have been receiving increased number of requests by more companies to participate in the summit and that the program, which is extended to continue in 44 different Anatolian cities through this weekend, could bring a total trade volume of $1 billion.
The deals that were secured already on the second day could be an early signal that the $1 billion target is not too optimistic. Today's Zaman spoke with some of the leading participants to get a better picture of their interest in the summit.
African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry Fatima Haram Acyl, speaking with Today's Zaman, said the union picked Turkey as one of the major partners for their future trade and industry investments. The union defined a "2063 vision" for economic development and trade during the African Union Summit held in May. The union expects to cooperate with Turkish companies in over 40 separate sectors. “We chose Turkey due to its young population, friendly attitude towards African people and economic success. We believe Turkey will contribute to our long-term trade goals. ... That is why I came here to sign a cooperation agreement with the TUSKON,” Acyl added.
The corporate affairs manager of a leading Senegalese company, CCBM Holding, Nelly Ndiaye, told Today's Zaman that her company has been looking to hammer out a deal for a joint investment in the banking sector with Turkey's Doğuş Holding. Noting that they met with the Doğuş representatives during the TUSKON summit, Ndiaye said they plan to establish a bank in Senegal in cooperation with the holding. Noting that they have already been working with Turkish furniture firm Alfemo, Ndiaye said that they want to establish long-term relationships with Turkish companies.
A prominent Vietnamese construction company “FPT City Danang Joint Stock Company,” plans to import construction materials for a construction project worth $1 billion in Vietnam.
Attending the TUSKON meetings for the first time this year, the assistant director of the Vietnamese company, Hien Nguyen, told Today's Zaman that they are negotiating with such Turkish construction companies as Vitra and E7 Yapı for contracts. Noting that they anticipated a long-term partnership with Turkey, she said they plan to buy all the construction materials for the $1 billion project from Turkish firms “if conditions allow”.
Director of Kyrgyzstani company Laminate SERVIS Limited Company, a construction materials and furniture producer, Sarlybek Uulu Temirlan told Today's Zaman that they plan to buy heavy construction equipment for one of their new projects that they will launch soon in Kyrgyzstan. Temirlan stated that his company will import $15 million heavy construction equipment from Turkish companies.
Solomon Letsatsi from South Africa told Today's Zaman that his company ordered a $2.5 million children's playground from a Turkish company. Stating that the South African government supports the agreement signed with Turkish companies, Letsatsi stated that they believed the frequency of cooperation with Turkish companies will increase over the coming years. “The dynamism in Turkey not only helps us profit, but also encourages businessmen in my country,” Letsatsi noted.
TUSKON launched its first foreign trade bridges in 2006, targeting African nations. The initiative then stretched from Africa to the Pacific region and most recently to Eurasia and Balkans. Turkish participation in the event is not limited to TUSKON member companies. The union is famous for its efforts to increase collaboration and mutual commercial relations with parts of the world with which Turkey has low trade volume. It also pays attention to the specific strategies of the Turkish state for certain markets.