Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj have held talks on bilateral relations in New Delhi. Babacan discussed strategies to transform and increase relations into new opportunities for the two countries during his visit to India, sources said yesterday.
Ways to boost the bilateral trade volume, which currently stands at near $1 billion, to $7 billion, and spurring trade and investments between the two countries, including new infrastructure investments to be executed within the scope of India's new reform program, were also on the agenda, officials said.
Turkish officials expressed their wishes to see Turkish contractors participating in infrastructure projects in this new reform program, which contains transport, railways, metro, highways, smart cities, agricultural and power plant projects.
Turkish and Indian chambers sign cooperation deal
The Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) signed a business committee agreement with the Indian Federation of Trade and Industry Chambers (FICCI) and a cooperation agreement with the Indian Industry Confederation (CII).
Speaking at the signing ceremony of the business committee agreement, TOBB Chairman Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said that the agreement with the FICCI to establish a Turkish-Indian business committee would be a good start to improve business cooperation between corporations and associations of both countries. He said that while the cooperation will be in all areas of the economy, they would collaborate more for female entrepreneurs. "We have a council of 7,000 businesswomen, which is a great potential. In terms of female entrepreneurs, both India and Turkey have high potential," Hisarcıklıoğlu said.
Hisarcıklıoğlu said that the Turkish economy is the fastest growing economy in Europe and the Middle East and that there is potential to do business with Indian partners in the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans and Central Asia. He also said Turkey is currently the biggest production center between India and Italy.
He also pointed out that the current trade figures between India and Turkey do not reflect actual potential, as only $586 million of India's total imports, amounting to $470 billion, are from Turkey: "This is due to a lack of interest and information of business circles in both Turkey and India," Hisarcıklıoğlu said, and added that with effective and constant communication, the problem can be overcome. He also underlined that Turkey and India's rising economies are similar as they are both energy dependent and are interested in the same areas in the Middle East. "With the establishment of a Turkish-Indian business committee between the FICCI and TOBB, we can improve our economic collaboration," he said. He added that as the B20's current chairman, they are willing to work with the FICCI to build stronger business circles. Hisarcıklıoğlu signed the cooperation agreement with the CII together with Babacan. The purpose of the agreement is to revive mutual economic relations by multiplying current exports to India, which are around $500 million. "In order to achieve this, we have signed agreements with two of the most powerful institutions in India. With visits in between committees, we will realize this aim," Hisarcıklıoğlu said.