Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, where he traveled to have political and business meetings on Thursday, the minister noted the importance of the Turkish market for the company, which had earnings of some $37 billion last year. “They define Turkey as the first country where they are going to be operating in Western Asia. What they plan right now is to first make a corporate marriage with a firm already present [in the Turkish market],” he said.
The Japanese insurer has a total workforce of some 57,000 people and is already present in a number of overseas markets, such as the US, the UK, Australia, China and India as well as a few other Asian nations.
Çağlayan had meetings with representatives from three other Japanese companies concerning the possibility of investing in Turkey on Thursday. “These three companies combined had a total revenue of $505.4 billion [last year] and take an interest in many fields, ranging from food to chemicals,” he said, adding that the Japanese enterprises should take advantage of the new Turkish investment incentive package. That package defines the automotive, chemical, textile and machinery sectors as targeted strategic investments, offering major incentives, in particular, for investments in these fields or those that are going to be made in the country's underdeveloped regions.
On Thursday, Çağlayan also met with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano in Tokyo. Çağlayan and Gemba signed a memorandum of understanding concerning improving economic cooperation between the two countries, which are separated by thousands of kilometers. Because they are not natural trade partners, the trade volume between Japan and Turkey -- the world's third and 16th largest economies, respectively -- was just slightly more than $4.5 billion last year. Yet this figure was nearly a third higher than it was a year earlier, an indication that the two countries' commercial relations have at least been improving.