Welcome plans for a Turkey business mission to PH in March
"There are a lot of similarities between the Philippines and Turkey. And there are also a lot of opportunities for complementation, too." This was the key message of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez when he addressed members of the Dış Ekonomik İlişkiler Kurulu (DEIK) or the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey in Istanbul last February 7.
The DTI Secretary added that these complementarities can potentially leapfrog current trade levels between two of the fastest growing economies in Asia and in Europe.
In 2016, Turkey was the Philippines' 45th trading partner, 45th export market, and 43th import supplier. In 2017 (covering January-November), total trade between two countries hit a significant increase with USD 163 million.
Mr. Ilkem Sahin, who currently chairs the Istanbul based Turkey-Philippine Business Council (PTBC), agreed with Secretary Lopez who opined that trade levels between both countries remained below their potential.
Sahin added that he hopes that the recent convening of the first-ever Philippines-Turkey Joint Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (JCTEC), and the DEIK Roundtable Meeting between Philippine and Turkish business officials, can help double trade figures in the next year or two.
To capitalize on the momentum built by the JCTEC in Ankara, and the productive business engagements in Turkey organised by the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre (PTIC) in partnership with the Philippine Embassy in Ankara, Mr. Sahin announced, in the presence of visiting Philippine-Turkey Business Council (PTBC) Chair, Mr. Ernesto Chua, that the TPBC is spearheading a Turkish Business Mission to the Philippines in March 2018.
DTI Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo, who also presented the opportunities of doing business in the Philippines during the DEIK Forum, underscored possible complementation of the Philippines and Turkey in areas such as fashion (furniture, garments and textiles), food & fruit, family-oriented and faith-based tourism, film development, and fabricated materials (construction) among others.
Undersecretary Rodolfo also added that Turkish companies may consider the Philippines as a production hub to capitalize on market access to its bilateral and multilateral trading partners, such as the US, and the ASEAN+6.
With over 1,000 members all over Turkey, DEIK whose main task is to "conduct foreign economic relations of the Turkish private sector," is currently represented by 94 founding institutions, 136 bilateral business councils, 5 sector-specific business councils, and 2 special purpose business councils.♦