Asian tiger Tai­wan eyes ex­panded trade co­op­er­a­tion with Turkey

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Business -

CON­SID­ERED an “Asian tiger” with its high-growth econ­omy and one of the ris­ing stars of the Far East­ern econ­omy, Tai­wan wants to de­velop its com­mer­cial co­op­er­a­tion with Turkey.

De­spite limited diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween Turkey and Tai­wan, com­mer­cial re­la­tions have been gen­er­ally main­tain­ing a reg­u­lar course. The trade vol­ume be­tween the two coun­tries ex­ceeded $1 bil­lion for the first time in 2004 and reached $2.2 bil­lion last year.

Hav­ing stood at $118.9 mil­lion in 2013, Turkey’s ex­ports to Tai­wan surged by 72 per­cent as of the pre­vi­ous year, reach­ing $204.5 mil­lion. Ex­ports of au­to­mo­biles rose ten­fold com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year, amount­ing to $58.5 mil­lion.

Turkey’s main ex­port prod­ucts to Tai­wan in­clude cop­per ore, bo­rate, syn­thetic yarn, mar­ble and other nat­u­ral stones as well as iron and steel flat prod­ucts. How­ever, there are also de­vel­op­ments in the ex­ports of some other prod­uct groups, such as wood ma­te­ri­als, plates, pas­sen­ger cars, mo­bile de­vices and pasta.

Mean­while, im­ports es­ti­mated to be around $1.6 bil­lion in 2016, it rose to $2 bil­lion last year. The im­port items mostly in­cluded in­ter­me­di­ate goods. Among the most im­por­tant items, Turkey im­ports from Tai­wan were in­te­grated cir­cuits, ma­chine tools for met­al­work­ing, iron-steel screws, nuts, bolts, mo­bile phones, tele­vi­sions and mon­i­tors.

There are 21 Tai­wan-based com­pa­nies in Turkey. Com­mer­cial and eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries are main­tained in the nat­u­ral course with­out state sup­port. In or­der to de­velop com­mer­cial, eco­nomic and cul­tural re­la­tions be­tween Turkey and Tai­wan, the “Taipei Cul­tural Of­fice” is op­er­at­ing in Ankara along with the “Turk­ish Trade Of­fice” in Taipei.

Ac­cord­ing to a study con­ducted by the Turk­ish Trade Of­fice in Tai­wan, the ex­port po­ten­tial stands out in cher­ries, apri­cots, grapes, figs, oranges, lemons, sun­flow­ers, olive oil, hazel­nuts, wal­nuts, seafood, glass, ce­ram­ics, sou­venirs, branded tex­tile prod­ucts, leather, ap­parel, chem­i­cal prod­ucts, dish­wash­ers, auto spare parts and ac­ces­sories, as well as forestry prod­ucts.

Taipei’s Eco­nomic and Cul­tural Mis­sion Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Yasser Cheng said they want Turkey to be more in­volved in the Tai­wanese mar­ket.

The in­vest­ment vol­ume be­tween Turkey and Tai­wan is not at the de­sired level and that there is no reg­u­la­tion to pre­vent dou­ble tax­a­tion, Cheng added that Tai­wanese in­vestors have turned to East­ern Euro­pean coun­tries such as Czechia, Poland and Slo­vakia for this rea­son.

Cheng noted that Tai­wan is work­ing on sell­ing more prod­ucts to Turkey. “We also want Turkey to pro­mote its prod­ucts in Tai­wan. There are on­go­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions be­tween Turkey and Tai­wan in many ar­eas such as cul­ture, health, medicine, agri­cul­ture, science, tech­nol­ogy, smart cities and mar­itime trans­port,” Cheng con­tin­ued.

“We can also de­velop our co­op­er­a­tion in many other ar­eas such as so­lar en­ergy, green en­ergy and in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies. We want Tai­wan’s prod­ucts and in­vest­ments to come to Turkey more and to open up to Euro­pean, African and Mid­dle East­ern mar­kets,” he said.

Cheng pointed to the qual­ity of Turkey’s agri­cul­tural prod­ucts and nat­u­ral re­sources and said that Tai­wan could im­port agri­cul­tural prod­ucts and mar­ble from Turkey, while Turk­ish busi­ness­peo­ple could also in­vest in these ar­eas.

He re­called that in the last five years, there has been a lot of col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the two coun­tries, stress­ing that the start of di­rect flights be­tween Is­tan­bul and Taipei as of March 2015 was an im­por­tant step in that re­gard.

Touch­ing on the tourism fig­ures be­tween Turkey and Tai­wan, Cheng said that an av­er­age of 80,000 Tai­wanese tourists come to Is­tan­bul an­nu­ally, bring­ing at least $250 mil­lion, high­light­ing that Tai­wan has demon­strated good will for bal­anc­ing the trade deficit be­tween the two coun­tries with more tourists.

Cheng also stressed the in­ter­est of Tai­wanese tourists in Turkey and in­vited Turk­ish tourists to come and visit Tai­wan.

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