Trust between Russia’s Tatarstan and Turkey is key for establishing lasting business ties, head of the Tatarstan Investment Development Agency said.
"We have similar histories, similar cultures. We understand each other easily. And that makes for a fundamental basis for trust," Taliya Minullina, a top economic official in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, situated east of Moscow in the Volga district, told Anadolu Agency (AA) Monday.
Stressing how critical trust is for doing business abroad, Minullina said businesspeople look to ensure the safety of their capital investments.
"Amongst all the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries, Turkey is definitely number one that we have the best relations (with) and our business and investment projects in the country have shown the best results," she noted.
Minullina stressed that when Tatars – an ethnically Turkic people – visit Turkey, they feel at home, thanks in part to the famed Turkish hospitality.
"We visit Turkey several times every year, and it's not only Istanbul and (the capital) Ankara, (it's) also other parts of the country ... We try to do our best to safeguard those relations and gain that trust," she said.
She also praised the trustworthiness of Turkish businesspeople, saying: "I would say that Turkish investors are extremely reliable in the way they deliver everything that we agree upon. They always do what they say. And this is really valuable for Tatarstan."
The success of cooperation with Turkish businesses also helps to enhance ties, Minullina explained.
"Mutually beneficial cooperation will lead us to success, both in Turkey and Tatarstan," she stressed.
Noting that Russia – a vast country covering 11 time zones – consists of 85 regions, Minullina said according to the federal ranking, Tatarstan is the second-largest among all the regions, trailing only the capital of Moscow.
Tatarstan attracts foreign investments from 79 countries including Russia, she said, adding: "But Turkey is number one among all countries by the volume of capital that has been invested ($2.5 billion)."
Touching on the coronavirus' impact on business in Tatarstan, Minullina said despite the loss in profits – something seen worldwide – no new projects were cancelled.
"Businesses went for credits and loans. We did the restructuring of financial models for some projects. Some of the projects were postponed just in the time frame," she stressed.
In step with global trends, the country focused on the production of surgical masks and sanitizers, building new hospitals and expanding the IT sector.
Touting the international economic gathering of the Kazan Summit 2021, held in Tatarstan's capital with AA serving as its global communication partner, Minullina stressed that the event this past July aimed not only to attract more investments in Russia from OIC countries but also to boost cooperation in trade, culture, tourism and education.
"We try to organize a platform where everyone would benefit," she added, extolling the annual summit, which has more than a decade under its belt.
Minullina noted that this year's summit drew great interest from non-Islamic countries, as it welcomed 4,750 participants from 64 countries, with the OIC now counting 57 countries in its ranks.
Participants at the summit "also would love to work with the Islamic world. It means what we are doing at the moment is actual and is needed very much," she underlined.
She highlighted that despite the ongoing pandemic, the number of people visiting the event posted a rise from 3,500 at the previous summit held in 2019 (having skipped the gathering in 2020).
But even while boasting strong attendance, "the number of participants isn't as important as their quality," Minullina explained.
"So we would like to attract people who are the decision-makers, businesspeople, entrepreneurs."
In the years to come, the event aims to see presidents of Russia and OIC countries forging new agreements.
Touching on Tatarstan's goals, Minullina said the region aims to be a strategic partner for OIC members and other countries.
Stressing the importance of these partnerships in the long run, she explained: "What we need to do is have strategic partnerships where we can do joint ventures with the companies where we can just have some pieces of training together, where we can have strategic plans – not just one investment project. We don't work like that anymore."
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