Visa barriers 'hurting Turkish trade'

'Invest in Italy' conference in Istanbul hears of huge discrepancy in Turkish-Italian investment

Visa barriers 'hurting Turkish trade'


Turkish entrepreneurs are facing significant barriers when investing or trading abroad due to visa requirements, the head of the country’s Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges told an Italian-Turkish economic conference in Istanbul on Wednesday. 

Rifat Hisarciklioglu told the ‘Invest in Italy’ gathering that although trade between Italy and Turkey reached around US$20 billion in 2013, nearly 2,000 Italian firms were established in Turkey compared to just 50 Turkish firms in the European country.

He also claimed that although Turkey received more demand for shipments in 2013, only 40.000 shipments could be made to Italy due to transport restrictions.

Chairperson of the Turkish-Italian Business Council, Zeynep Bodur Okyay, stated research and development capacity of Italian companies was high, something which could be applied to Turkish companies to increase the country’s exports to Italy which decreased last year to 4 percent, from  7 percent in 2007. 

"At the same time, Italian exports to Turkey has decreased to 5.1 percent from 5.7 percent during the same period," she added. 

Italy’s ambassador to Turkey Gianpaolo Scarante stated "Italian entrepreneurs have started to trust Turkey in last 10-12 years."

Stressing that Turkish companies should also start investing more in Italy, Scarante said “incredible” innovation and creation facilities existed there.

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