Ankara, Berlin ink joint economic, trade committee deal

Agreement aims to boost bilateral trade, investments, and cooperation in the field of industry, energy and tourism

Ankara, Berlin ink joint economic, trade committee deal

By Tuba Sahin


Turkish and German ministers on Thursday signed Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) agreement in the capital Ankara on Thursday.

The deal aims to improve bilateral trade, investments, and cooperation in the field of industry, energy and tourism.

The bilateral trade and economic cooperation will gain momentum in upcoming period "for sure", Turkey's Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said at the meeting.

"We had a chance to discuss concrete suggestions with the German minister. I am glad to see that German and Turkish business circle also share similar views," Pekcan added.

Pekcan added that both ministers exchanged views on investment opportunities in other countries.

A possible cooperation between Turk Eximbank and Germany's Euler Hermes was also discussed, said the Turkish minister.

"We will continue to contribute to bilateral relations between the two countries by launching more projects," she said.

She recalled that more than 7,000 German companies operate in Turkey.

Noting that the amount of German firms' investments in Turkey is $9.3 billion, Pekcan said: "I believe that German investments in Turkey will increasingly continue, considering Germany's total amount of foreign direct investments [in the world] of $1.2 trillion in the last decade."

German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier said the meeting aimed to establish bilateral ties on a "new ground".

Altmaier underlined that meetings should not also be held at ministerial level but also be held with the participation of sectoral representatives and parliament members on regular basis.

He also added that the EU can learn from Turkey's digitalization in customs.

Praising Turkish economic growth potential, Altmaier said the economic ties can be improved without customs walls.

Altmaier is accompanied by a group of businesspeople, including chief executives from German business giants Siemens, SAP and EON, as well as representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's).

An energy forum to be hosted by Turkish and German energy ministers will take place on Friday under the scope of the JETCO.

Trade volume between Turkey and Germany

Turkey's exports to Germany, which is the top export market of the country, stood at $10.64 billion while its import from the country was $14.14 billion in the first eight months of this year, TurkStat data reveals.

In 2017, bilateral trade volume between two countries totaled at $36.4 billion, up by 2.7 percent from the previous year.

Turkey attracted a huge amount of foreign direct investment -- around $5.43 billion -- from Germany between 2010 and 2017, while the figure was nearly $175 million in January-July this year.

The country's main exports groups consist of road vehicles, parts and accessories for motor vehicles and parts for use with piston engines to Germany while it purchases road vehicles, medicaments and parts and accessories for motor vehicles from Germany.

Turkey, Germany ties

Relations between Ankara and Berlin suffered several setbacks over the past years, but both sides have taken steps in recent months towards improving ties.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a Twitter post following his recent visit to Germany: "We want our German friends to continue reposing trust in Turkey, the Turkish economy and our country's future."

Erdogan paid a high-profile state visit to the country on Sept. 27-29, where he met his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and received senior representatives of Germany’s largest companies and banks.

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