Nearly 1,500 foreign businesspeople from 144 countries are preparing to attend a world trade and investment summit in Istanbul next week, seeking partnership opportunities with their foreign counterparts.
The Turkey-World Trade Bridge summit, a seven-year-old event on its way to becoming an internationally recognized summit, will open its doors to visitors from around the world on Nov. 25. Organized by the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), the summit, which will run through Nov. 26, expects to see 1,343 foreign and 800 local firms make an estimated 25,000 business-to-business transactions. The TUSKON summit is sponsored by the Turkish Economy Ministry and the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM).
The TUSKON trade summits, first held in 2006, are attracting larger crowds of businesspeople each year. This is the 18th time the event will open its doors, and the previous 18 summits saw more than 28,000 foreign and 50,000 Turkish businesspeople participate and enter into trade agreements worth an estimated $26 billion.
TUSKON Chairman Rızanur Meral shared details of the event earlier this week in İstanbul. He said he expects the summit to help increase the appeal of Turkish markets to foreign entrepreneurs even further.
“We have had a number of success stories since this project was launched. Take Africa, for example. Turkey’s mutual trade with the whole continent was $3.5 billion in 2005. With the support of the government, we have increased this number to $11 billion so far this year,” Meral explained.
Noting that there are similar events held by other countries, Meral said the Turkish version differs from others in its philosophy of sharing knowledge and experience with visitors as much as possible. “For example, we bring businesspeople with us to visit a number of production facilities. They can easily learn and adapt the techniques we employ here; there is no need for protectionism,” he said.
The program often makes clear emerging trends in Turkish interests in the world as well as the countries Turkey has targeted as priorities with which to develop economic ties.
Participating companies will explore investment and partnership opportunities at the event, which will be attended by international businesspeople from the food, agriculture, retail and related sectors.
TUSKON held its first foreign trade bridge summit in 2006, targeting African nations. The initiative then stretched from Africa to the Pacific region, and most recently to Eurasia and the Balkans. Turkish participation in the event is not limited to TUSKON member companies. The union is well known for its efforts to increase collaboration and mutual commercial relations with parts of the world with which Turkey has a low trade volume. It also pays heed to the specific strategies of the Turkish state for certain markets.
Turkish companies are typically very strong in the surrounding region, but they rarely push the boundaries to penetrate into Latin American and African markets. The world trade bridge seeks to change this.