President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will pay an official visit to Poland tomorrow at the invitation of Poland's President Andrzej Duda to promote relations, boost trade and investment between the two countries.
"Poland is the most important trading partner for Turkey in Central Europe, with bilateral trade reaching nearly $6 billion last year," Kemal Güleryüz, president of the Turkish-Poland Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board, told Anadolu Agency (AA).
During the visit, President Erdoğan will be accompanied by an entourage of ministers and businessmen.
Pointing out that Poland holds significant potential for Turkish firms and investors with foreign capital investments and the support of the European Union, Güleryüz said trade volume between the two countries has increased steadily since 2000.
"With the support of the Ministry of Economy for export and investment, I believe that the trading volume will reach higher levels in the coming period," he said.
Güleryüz noted that a large number of Turkish companies based in Poland are operating in the textile-apparel, real estate, retail and wholesale sectors.
He added that there were significant opportunities in Poland for large-scale construction projects such as housing, telecommunications, hotels, hospitals and business center projects.
He said some financial support allocated by the European Union until 2020 would be used for human resources, technological innovation development, environmental protection and modernization of agriculture, adding that such renovation and development activities in the country were important opportunities for Turkish firms.
Güleryüz revealed that during President Erdoğan's visit, a business forum aimed at increasing trade, investment and business ties will be held.
"I believe that this forum will serve as a platform for economic cooperation opportunities and contribute to the development of economic relations between business representatives of both countries," Güleryüz said.
"Investing in Poland, just like everywhere else, requires long-term thinking. We need to take time to secure mutual trust."
Poland-Turkey Business Council President Dariusz Oleszczuk said that the Turkish economy was one of the world's fastest-growing economies, which can also create opportunities for Polish businesspeople.
Oleszczuk stressed that evaluations indicate steady 3-4 percent annual growth for Turkey. He said Turkey is one of the world's 20 largest economies and the goal of entering the top 10 by 2023.
"This target is based on expansion of exports and cooperation with foreign partners. This will also provide significant opportunities for firms based in Poland. Trade volume between Poland and Turkey is growing rapidly," Oleszczuk said, adding that it was is likely to reach 10 billion euros in the near future according to experts.
Oleszczuk indicated that the Polish government believes that the country can compete in the fields of aviation, the weapons industry, automobile parts, shipbuilding industry, information technology, chemical industry, furniture, and food processing and that these sectors offer long-term business opportunities for Turkish companies.
Commercial relations between Turkey and Poland first followed a Trade Agreement dated April 23, 1974, before the Free Trade Agreement dated Oct. 4, 1999. Poland joined the EU in 2004 and trade ties have since been based on Customs Union practices.
Poland's $400 billion in foreign trade last year included about $6 billion in trade was carried out with Turkey. Trade volume between the two countries doubled compared to 2006.
Bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Poland was $5,895 billion in 2016 and Turkey's exports to Poland amounted to $2.6 billion, with an increase of 13.8 percent compared to the previous year. Imports, on the other hand, rose by almost 9 percent to reach $3.2 billion.
The main items Turkey exported to Poland were textiles and apparel, motor vehicles, machinery and equipment, fresh fruits and vegetables, jewelry, tobacco and white goods.
Motor vehicles, hard coal, machinery, chemicals, cosmetics, furniture, chocolate, and confectionery, on the other hand, led Turkey's imports from Poland.