“Our Target is €20 Billion in Turkey-France Trade Volume”

“Our Target is €20 Billion in Turkey-France Trade Volume”

In a meeting with MEDEF members in France, President Erdoğan said: “The current trade volume is not an amount that can satisfy Turkey or France. There is a trade volume of $13.5 billion. We desire this amount to go up and I believe that if we can manage to do so, Turkey and France can start walking towards €20 billion in bilateral trade volume, a target we have formerly set.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a speech at a meeting with MEDEF members in Paris.

Emphasizing the importance of his visit to France as it provides an opportunity to address bilateral and regional issues, President Erdoğan expressed his wish for the three agreements, signed as part of the visit, to yield auspicious outcomes for the both countries.


Noting that he and his French counterpart Macron discussed the issues of Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt as well as Palestine-Israel relations and Al-Quds during their meetings, President Erdoğan said: “It is my belief that our close cooperation is of paramount importance in terms of regional and global peace. The current trade volume is not an amount that can satisfy Turkey or France. There is a trade volume of $13.5 billion. We desire this amount to go up and I believe that if we can manage to do so, Turkey and France can start walking towards €20 billion in bilateral trade volume, a target we have formerly set.”

President Erdoğan continued: “At the moment, France is the fifth biggest economic power of the world and the second biggest of Europe. Turkey, on the other hand, is the 13th biggest economy of the world and the fifth biggest of Europe in terms of purchasing power parity. While France ranks third worldwide in terms of the investments it makes and receives, Turkey continues since 2012 to be the leading country of the region known as Western Asia in terms of the investments it attracts. These data alone manifest that the bilateral trade volume, not reaching even $14 million, doesn’t reflect the two countries’ true potential. We can elevate our bilateral trade volume to its rightful level if we join forces and undertake new projects. I can see how powerful the companies sitting around this table are. Therefore, we only need decisive steps for the rest.”


Reminding that a coup attempt was staged in Turkey back on July 15, 2016, President Erdoğan stressed that the Turkish democracy and republic came stronger out of this challenge thanks to the bravery and altruism of the Turkish people. Despite all these setbacks, Turkey reached $157 billion in exports this year, having successfully dealt with the July 15 treacherous attack and other traps along with it, President Erdoğan said, and added that Turkey grew 11% in the third quarter of 2017 and thus broke a new record with a growth rate of 7.4%.

Pointing to the fact that many credit rating agencies and international organizations had to revise their forecasts for Turkey’s economic growth, President Erdoğan said: “I am confident that we will perform well in the fourth quarter as well and therefore will end 2017 with a growth rate over 7%. This growth rate will once again make Turkey the fastest-growing economy among the G20 and OECD countries. Rest assured that we will keep up this success trend in the upcoming period as well.”

President Erdoğan, referring to the year of 2023, which will mark the centennial of the Republic of Turkey, said, “We are implementing step by step our 2023 vision towards the goal of being one of the top 10 economies of the world,” and added: “It is not a coincidence that six of the 10 megaprojects across the world that are still underway or have recently been completed are in Turkey. The cost of the projects we have undertaken over the last decade alone has surpassed $200 billion.”


President Erdoğan continued: “Turkey is a center of attraction for the investments of our French friends, too. Turkey managed to attract approximately 180 billion dollars’ worth of international direct investment from 2003 to 2016 despite the ongoing regional crises. Our 80-million-population domestic market along with our competitive and dynamic private sector as well as the highly-developed technological infrastructure in transportation, telecommunication and energy industries provide added values for investors. More than 50 countries and a vast market that accounts for one-fifth of the global economy are accessible with a four hours’ flight from Istanbul. Nearly 58,000 companies with international capital are active in Turkey. Whoever invests in Turkey always wins.”

Underlining that international investors coming to Turkey are no different from Turkish businesspeople in their eyes, and that Turkey offers one of the most assertive investment incentive packages of the world, President Erdoğan said: “We regularly come together with international investors and discuss the incentives needed for their investments. We are decisive to clear the way in front of investments through an investment incentive system which runs on project basis and which values technology input.”

Recalling that French companies participated in 13 separate tenders in a wide range of areas including transportation, energy, environment, etc. within the framework of Turkey’s projects for 2023, President Erdoğan said: “As the most recent example, a cooperation agreement was signed between Airbus and Türksat at the beginning of November. Therefore, we, with the support of France, enabled our country to make a leap forward in satellite development and launch. This cooperation will definitely trigger new cooperations in other industries, too.”


Emphasizing that the declaration of will signed between the Turkish Airlines and Airbus, as well as the contract signed between Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, ASELSAN, ROKETSAN and the EUROSAM Consortium are of strategic importance, President Erdoğan noted that the agreements signed between the export credit agencies of Turkey and France will also contribute to the strengthening of economic relations between the two countries.

Pointing out that they are working in line with their strategic action plans as two close allies, President Erdoğan stated: “It is our biggest fortune that the leaderships of the two countries harbor a strong will in this regard. Benefiting from this will, we need our businesspeople’s support to take more balanced and bigger steps in our bilateral trade and economic relations.”

President Erdoğan, addressing the French business circles, continued: “My message to you is for you to be a part of Turkey’s economic progress. There isn’t even the slightest obstacle in front of you benefitting from investment incentives.” The President added that France ranks seventh in the list of countries Turkey trades the most with and 10th in the list of countries that invest the most in Turkey, with about 1500 companies with French capital operating in Turkey.

Emphasizing that they can do even better, President Erdoğan said: “An important mechanism that can provide you support is the Turkey-France Joint Economic and Trade Committee. Many problems have been resolved thanks to the strong ties this committee has helped to establish.”


President Erdoğan made the following remarks: “We know well France’s importance, power and potential and follow with appreciation its recent growth rates and the magnitude of its investments. We have no doubt that the reforms conducted under the tenacious leadership of Mr. Macron will be successful. These developments will lead the Turkish businesspeople to do more business with France and partner up with their French counterparts in third countries. We, for our part, continue to encourage them in that direction. I am confident that our French counterparts won’t let these efforts of ours go unresponded. There are some concrete steps we should take to this end. For example, we should convene the Turkey-France Joint Economic and Trade Committee as soon as possible with a view to achieving €20 billion in bilateral trade. We should bring our businesspeople together and hold face-to-face meetings in such a way as to complement the committee’s works. Business forums might become an indispensable component of our bilateral economic relations.”

Noting that it will be profitable for them to work together in terms of access to third-country markets, President Erdoğan said that the efforts of the French and Turkish private sector representatives to forge strategic partnership should be supported more, and that, to that end, the efforts to establish common communication network should be expedited, and that the amendment of the agreement for the avoidance of double taxation should be finalized swiftly.

Expressing determination regarding the action plan and to support the business communities of Turkey and France, President Erdoğan wished the businesspeople a successful, auspicious and productive year.


Afterward, President Erdoğan, as part of his programme in Paris, received President of the France-Turkey Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group Stephane Teste, President of the France-Turkey Friendship Group at the Senate Josiane Costes, Member of the European Parliament Rachida Dati, a delegation of the Islamic Council of France, representatives of the Turkish community in France, and members of the Ottoman dynasty living in France.

Following the receptions, President Erdoğan and the delegation accompanying him left France for Turkey. The President was seen off at Charles de Gaulle Airport by Turkey’s Ambassador to Paris İsmail Hakkı Musa, Permanent Delegate of Turkey to UNESCO Ambassador Ahmet Altay Cengizer, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the OECD Ambassador Erdem Başçı, Turkey’s Consul General to Paris Görkem Barış Tantekin and French officials.

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