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Turkey: ‘Made in Italy’ allied with ‘Anatolian Tigers’ 2 mai 2012

Posted by Acturca in Economy / Economie, Turkey / Turquie, Turkey-EU / Turquie-UE.
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ANSAmed (Italia) May 2, 2012                                                        Italiano

by Francesco Cerri, Istanbul

Italian business in Instanbul to explore new opportunities

It may not be the new promised land for Italy’s entrepreneurs, but Turkey resembles one in many ways: it is enjoying a GDP growth rate of 8.5%; it is already the world’s 16th largest economy and it aims to be 8th within the coming decade by arriving at pro-capita earnings of 25,000 euros; the country also plans to invest hundreds of billions in its own infrastructure between now and 2023. And Italy’s businesses have no intention of missing this Turkish train. Piloted by business association Confindustria, bank association ABI and commercial institute ICE, 250 firms from the two countries will be taking part in the first Italy-Turkey economic summit in Istanbul, taking place between today and Friday. The objective is to enlarge Italy’s market share in the country, to explore investment opportunities and to multiply the number of joint ventures with Turkish companies aimed at penetrating Central Asian, Middle Eastern and East European markets together.
As the Deputy Chair of ABI, Guido Rosa, noted, Italy’s banks are offering eight billion euros to companies interested in operating in Turkey. Around four hundred bilateral meetings have been planned from tomorrow, to ease potential ‘marriages’ between Italian and Turkish businesses. Commenting on the recent poor employment figures from Rome, Confindustria Chair Emma Marcegaglia pointed out that unemployment is also to be fought by developing exports and organising on a national level. And, she said, Turkey  »presents innumerable characteristics that drive us to see it as a strategic partner ». Turkey has almost 80 million inhabitants and will have 100 million in ten years’ time. It is three times the size of Italy and Italian investment in the country began fifty years ago with Fiat and Pirelli as trail blazers. Now, over 900 Italian companies are operating in the country and Italy is Turkey’s fourth largest trading partner with trading worth 21.3 billion dollars in 2011 (up by 28%). Italian companies are winning an increasing number of public tenders to construct motorways, schools, oil pipelines and hospitals.  »All of the conditions are present for our businesses to reap these enormous possibilities » from the Turkish market, Italy’s Undersecretary for Economic Development, Massimo Vari, said. Mr Vari heads the Italian delegation. Several entrepreneurs wanted to see a minister present in a country that is very aware of formalities. For Ms Marcegaglia, Turkey is  »a strategic beachhead and among the most interesting in the world »: Italy is in favour of Turkish accession to the EU, but the process is proceeding at a snail’s pace.  »The debate over its entry into Europe is historically misplaced. Turkey is a capitalist country with an significant middle class, SMEs that export across Europe, to Russia, the Middle East and to Central Asia ».
Italy’s Ambassador to Turkey, Gianpaolo Scarante, notes how while Europe is squabbling over keeping within the Maastricht parameters, Turkey already meets Eurozone standards: deficit at 1.4% of GDP, debt at 39%. But of course, for many Europeans, the problem is not an economic one, but a political one. How to incorporate a Muslim country as large as Germany into an imploding Europe. Turkey’s government may be economically liberal, but it is Islamically conservative. And the country’s internal situation is a complex one, with dozens of imprisoned generals and journalists charged with plotting to overthrow the state. But there are no clouds on the horizon of Turkey’s economic future. Growth is driven by the ‘Anatolian Tigers’ the aggressive little companies that have sprung up in what was once the country’s least developed area. And they draw their inspiration from the ‘model’ of Italy’s North-East.


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