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Bilateral trade volume with South Korea can reach a much more desired level: DEIK President Olpak

Sung Yu-mo, the Commerce, Industry and Energy Minister of South Korea attended the Turkey-Korea Business and Investment Meeting via video conference. The meeting was organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) and the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, business people from both countries participated in it. Minister Yun-mo expressed that the relations between the two countries are very old and were strengthened with the Korean War and that they became two sister countries. Yun-mo emphasized that the emotional bound between Turkey and South Korea strengthened the economic collaborations, he said:

‘’ Turkey-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) successfully became involved in 2013, thus the foundations of our economic cooperation were laid. Our countries are getting closer and closer. There are currently more than 300 Korean companies in Turkey contributing on economic growth and employment.’’

Yun-mo mentioned that the Covid-19 pandemic has not affected the economic relations between Turkey and South Korea and that the bilateral trade improves every year. Yun-mo emphasized that the longer the pandemic period lasts, the more the problems in global economy will be. He said:

‘’ Pandemic makes the structural changes a must. Both Turkey and South Korea continues to manage the pandemic by trying to stimulate the green and digital industry with warning packages. Korea announced it’s deal defined as both green and digital, in July. We aim to increase investments and employment rate with this agreement. Turkey also showed it’s interest towards a green economy in the 5-Year Development Plan announced last year. We should focus our economic cooperation on the green and digital industry despite Covid-19; we must show that we are ready for the post-pandemic period and evolve our collaboration from traditional manufacturing to green and digital industries. “

‘’Pandemic will create new opportunities in our trade.’’

Sung Yun-mo stated that the cooperation should be expanded in the field of green economy for sustainable development, he said:

‘’ The green movement is worth noting at this point. The electric vehicle industry needs to be promoted in Turkey because Turkey wants to bring electric vehicles to the mass manufacturing by 2023. Based on our competence and technology, we can strengthen this goal with our cooperation.’’

Yun-mo mentioned that the digital transition can contribute on diversifying the collaboration and said:

‘’ Diversifying the collaboration will create a mutual benefit. Even though we faced the worst economic crisis because of Covid-19, the activities of our countries will be enough to overcome the obstacles. Turkey is adept at overcoming such crisis. I think both Turkish and Korean businesspeople will quickly adapt to any changes in the future. In fact, the pandemic will create new business opportunities.’’

’Our bilateral trade volumes can be much more balanced.’’

DEIK President Nail Olpak said that diversification of investments and efficient cooperation are now necessary. Olpak emphasized that it is important to further improve the existent relations and said:

‘’Our bilateral trade volumes can be much more balanced, we are aware of it. This issue is the responsibility and duty of the business community and it is the business community and representatives of the business world that must work for this purpose.

Turkey-Korea bilateral relations have turned into a strategic partnership in the last 8 years. This partnership is the result of events regularly attended by investors and business people of both countries… With the pandemic, we need cooperation and solidarity more than ever. Turkey-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is the desire of creating more mutual benefit to have more balanced and advantageous business environment in Turkey. Hopefully, we can fulfil this goal. ‘’

Olpak stated that we are in a period where globalization and accessibility are the important issues, he said:

‘’ Pandemic showed that accessibility is more important than proximity or distance. We all understood that diversifying the market and supply chain is of paramount importance. Turkey and Korea are the two countries that have managed to maintain the production at pandemic period. We want Turkish companies to contribute more to the supply chain in Korea.’’

’We must turn the pandemic barrier into an opportunity.’’

Park Yongmaan, the president of the Korean Chambers of Industry and Commerce Association (KCCI) recalled that the Korean business delegation visit to Turkey in March was postponed due to the pandemic and stated that it is pleasant to come together, albeit via internet. Yongmaan emphasized that the bilateral relations are strengthen despite Covid-19 and said:

‘’Our presidents established a meaningful dialogue during the pandemic, decided to fight the pandemic together and draw a path for further cooperation. As the business world, we must turn the pandemic barrier into an opportunity. We must diversify our collaborations and based them on digital and health technology.’’

“Our goal is to increase the number of consortiums.

Ali Kibar, the president of DEIK/Turkey- Korea Business Counsil also stated that Turkish and Korean companies have signed many mega projects with the consortium, and that their goal is to increase the number of these consortiums in order to include third countries. Reminding that service trade and investment agreements started in 2018, Kibar mentioned that this study will encourage direct investments in the coming years. He said:

‘’ It is very important that Turkey have not suspended the production during the pandemic period. Turkey provides great advantages to the Korean companies due to it’s logistic position. Turkish business circles are ready to realize the benefits of the FTA in a more sustainable and advantageous way.’’

source: AA / translated by Melisa Karayusufoglu

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