Turkey, India intensify efforts to expand economic, commercial relations

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 17.09.2019 00:08

Turkey is preparing to host a delegation of businesspeople from India, which is one of the 17 target countries in the Ministry of Trade's Export Master Plan. The delegation, consisting of entrepreneurs from various sectors, including information technologies, pharmaceutical industry, textiles and food, will discuss cooperation opportunities in Istanbul from Sept. 18-20.

According to Anadolu Agency (AA), a delegation of about 20 people will hold talks in Istanbul as part of the three-day business visit. The delegation will meet with the representatives of various institutions and business people, especially the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TİM). Within the scope of the visit, the delegation is expected to evaluate opportunities for cooperation with companies operating in information technologies, the pharmaceutical industry and textile and food sectors.

India was listed among the 17 target countries in the Export Master Plan announced by Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan. In this context, the contact between the two countries is expected to intensify in the political, diplomatic and economic fields, while mutual visits between the business worlds have accelerated. Most recently, China attended the 88th İzmir International Fair as a "partner country" and India as the "focus country." Businesspeople and investors from both countries exhibited their products and held talks for new cooperation during the fair.

Last year, India's economy grew by 7.3% to $2.6 trillion. The country had $523 billion in imports and $338 billion in exports, while its trade volume with Turkey stood at $8.7 billion.

India's main import items include mineral fuels, precious and semi-precious stones, pearls, electrical and electronic equipment, machinery, nuclear reactors and organic chemicals. There has been a remarkable increase in the number of tourists coming from this country to Turkey since 2017. The number of Indian tourists in Turkey soared to 129,000 in the January-July period this year from 43,000 last year.

Indian market offers

great opportunities

Canan Çelebioğlu, Head of the Turkish-Indian Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), said that the Indian market offers great opportunities for Turkey in exports and imports, with its growing middle class and increasing domestic market demand.

Çelebioğlu stated that India, with its ever-liberalizing economic structure, will form one of the most attractive markets in the coming years as it is today, and therefore it is among the 17 most important target countries.

According to Çelebioğlu, foreign capital investments in India, which increased by 6% to $42 billion in 2018, mainly targeted services, IT, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors; while other important industries include chemistry, pharmaceuticals, automotive and infrastructure.

Expressing that India's IT sector grows 4-5 times faster than the global IT market, Çelebioğlu added: "Almost all global electronic giants, including HP, IBM, Samsung and LG, have investments in India. Domestic IT demand is expected to reach $400 billion in 2020. It is estimated that there will be 1.1 billion telecom users and 500 million broadband users. These magnitudes explain why global companies want to be involved in this market."

Underlining that the construction sector is one of the primary sectors seeking to do business in India, Çelebioğlu said that the country needs serious infrastructure projects in all areas.

Also, an investment of $600 billion is required in the country only for urbanization infrastructure in the next 20 years. The need for housing is also very high due to the rapidly growing population. The country's transportation infrastructure needs serious investments, especially in roads, railways and ports. Meanwhile, 100 smart cities are planned to be built by 2020.

Stressing that it is necessary to create success stories to increase the trade volume in favor of Turkey, Çelebioğlu noted that it is of great importance to boost the motivation and efficiency of Turkish companies in line with Turkey's strategic objectives and priorities.

Highlighting that they will continue to seek solutions to the problems and contribute to the relations of the two countries by strengthening their communication with their Indian counterpart organization, Çelebioglu said that India offers opportunities in all sectors that cannot be ignored.

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