Italian Trade Agency Istanbul Manager Aniello Musella said that Italian firms show great interest in the sectors on which the Turkish government has focused over the past 10 years.
Musella continued, "The energy and infrastructure sectors attract the greatest attention. There is a rapidly increasing energy demand in Turkey. It is therefore important to ensure Italy's involvement in key infrastructure tenders in the energy sector. From this point of view, we have identified a number of subsectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. These subsectors are the ones in which Italian companies can have good cooperation with Turkey. The contribution of Italian companies seems to be very important in the energy efficiency issues that are on the agenda of large cities like Istanbul. In this respect, I consider that there are great opportunities for cooperation in renewable energy and energy efficiency."
Noting that Italian companies are interested in large-scale infrastructure and construction projects in Turkey, Musella said, "The Turkish government is currently and will be making huge investments in the future in the field of infrastructure and construction. Therefore, we attach great importance to these projects that can create opportunities for Italian companies."
Touching on the large-scale infrastructure projects carried out in Turkey, Musella said, "The third airport and the third Bosporus bridge [Yavuz Sultan Selim] projects in Istanbul are big projects. These are large projects that are no longer programmed in our European countries, but we have technical expertise. Therefore, we can form partnerships by providing technical expertise to these projects. The third airport project, the first phase of which will be completed in a short time, has a high expertise value in terms of both construction and engineering. You know that the construction of the third Bosporus bridge took place under the cooperation of Turkish and Italian companies. Italy can be technically involved in such large projects."
According to Economy Ministry data, there are about 1,330 Italian companies operating in Turkey as of 2016 and Italy is the fifth biggest investor in terms of countries. These are producers in large production centers, but there are also commercial distributors. There are big companies like Pirelli which came to Turkey and started production 50 years ago, he cited.
Trade volume between Turkey and Italy was about $20 billion last year. Musella said this corresponded to a rise of nearly 11 percent compared to 2016. Underlining that machinery was the most important sector contributing to the foreign trade volume, Musella continued, "The import of processing machines used in many fields, including metals, jewelry products, textiles, rubber, packaging and food, contributed to our bilateral foreign trade."