Two flanks of Asia

Organized by the Turkish Exporters Assembly and the Chinese Chamber Of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME), the Turkey-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum hosted a VIP guest. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, was invited by Turkish President Abdullah Gül, and stayed in Istanbul accompanied by 58 Chinese top corporate executives from the 20th to the 22nd of February. He had already been on the world agenda with his USA visit just before traveling to Turkey. Tipped to take the seat of Chinese premiership within this year, Xi Jinping returned to his country after signing several agreements that include considerable advantages for both sides. Xi Jinping and his retinue met with top executives of Turkish companies at the Istanbul Hilton Convention Center on the 22nd of February, Wednesday. The opening ceremony of the Forum was joined by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, Minister of Economy Zafer Çağlayan, TİM President Mehmet Büyükekşi, TUSKON (Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey) President Rızanur Meral, TİM Deputy President Ali Nedim Güreli and TİM Supervisory Board member İbrahim Burkay. 28 agreements were signed at the ceremony. Some of the Chinese companies/guests that visited Turkey led by the CCCME were the China National Machinery Corp. (contractor of the Istanbul-Ankara high speed railway project), China Telecom, Sinochem and the Chairman and President of the Chinese Eximbank.

Turkey as the most attractive economy

In his speech at the Forum, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping called for Turkey to buy more products from China and to augment the volume of the economic relations between the two nations since the figures do not truly reflect the actual potential of these two booming countries. With a prediction that the trade between Turkey and China will push boundaries within the next decade, Xi Jinping dubbed Turkey the shining star of this era. Describing Turkey as one of the most attractive economies in its area, Xi Jinping acknowledged that their investments in Turkey had bumped up since 2001, and expressed their eagerness to cooperate particularly in energy and construction. Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan stated his desire to see a Chinese bank set up in Turkey: "It may be an agricultural bank or another bank but it will be very useful if we can have here in service a bank established in and licensed from China. The door is always open for Chinese banks that comply with the criteria of the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA). We will speak with the BRSA about this”. Mr.Babacan also enunciated their wish to see Chinese investment companies in Turkey: "The World Bank member IFC that offers loans to the private sector opened its first office outside Washington in Istanbul. Coca-Cola oversees its operations in 93 countries from Turkey. I give these examples so that China wouldn't restrict its plans related to Turkey.”

Minister of Economy Zafer Çağlayan, urged these two countries on the Eastern and Western flanks of Asia to come closer, and drew attention to the huge gap between our exports to and imports from China.