The recent meeting of “10 Countries – 10 Cities”, an event organised by TIMAKDEMI, was held in Ankara about its partner, China, with the title “Target Country: China” on 20 April 2017.

In his opening remarks, Nihat ZEYBEKCI, the Minister of Economy, underlined the importance of Chinese market to Turkish exporters. Nevertheless, there is an imbalance between Turkey's exports and that of China to the latter's favour. According to Mr. ZEYBEKCI, the continuation of this situation is not sustainable, and hence, Turkey should at least strive to achieve a balance of 1:2, instead of the current situation, which is 1:10. In addition, Mr. ZEYBEKCI drew attention to the difficulties experienced by Turkish exporters in obtaining visas from China.

Mr. ZEYBEKCI emphasized the importance of both countries' location. In his view, China is of importance to Turkey in her dealings with Asia-Pacific and the Far East, whilst Turkey's location makes her a valuable partner for China in her relations with Europe.

In his concluding remarks, Mr. ZEYBEKCI mentioned the possibility of both countries' cooperation in their trade with third countries. Besides, he gave information on the project regarding the establishment of a free trade zone for Chinese businessmen.

The Chairman of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), Mehmet BUYUKESKI, told that Ankara ranked fifth in terms of the total volume of goods and services exported by the cities in Turkey. Mr. BUYUKEKSI emphasized the importance of increasing Ankara's trade output by investing in technology which would trigger the export of value-added goods. Mr. BUYUKEKSI stated that “Ankara's exports have increased considerably over the last 10 years. The number of exporters have grown by 43%. Still, we need to work harder.”            

Mr. BUYUKEKSI told that the products exported from Ankara match with the products imported by China. According to the Chairman, President Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN's visit to China next month will give impetus to trade relations. Mr. BUYUKEKSI also expressed the difficulties experienced by Turkish businessman in obtaining visas from China, which is a source of impediment in increasing Turkey's trade to this country.   

In the meeting, Vodafone Turkey's Deputy CFO M. Sinan KIZILDAG and General Manager of Halkbank, Ali Fuat TESKESENLIOGLU, gave presentations.

In the first panel moderated by the Chief Editor of Dunya Newspaper, Hakan GULDAG, the Secretary General of TIM, Dr. H. Bader ARSLAN, made a presentation on the strategic analysis of the Chinese market and on market access opportunities. Former Commercial Attaché of Turkey to Guangzhou, Hasan KOSE, shared his views on how to do business with Chinese companies. Commercial Consul in Chinese Consulate General in Istanbul, Huang SONGFENG, delivered a speech on an overview of China's economic and commercial relations with Turkey. Turkish-Chinese Industry and Business Association Chairman, Zhou Yan QUAN, made a presentation on business opportunities between both countries and on Chinese market.

In the second panel, Chairman of DEIK's Turkey-China Business Council, Murat KOLBASI, shared his views on investment opportunities in China and the future of Chinese market. UPS Turkey's Deputy General Manager responsible for Marketing, Caner TEK, delivered a talk on logistical aspects of delivering goods to China. Finally, Board Member and the General Manager of COFACE, Emre OZER, touched upon issues related to the risks in Chinese market and on how to find the right partner in the local market. 

The ninth meeting of “Ten Countries-Ten Cities” will be held in Kayseri on France-Kayseri. This will be followed by UAE-Istanbul meeting.