Germans to make Turkey a “logistics hub” according to 2030 master plan
Ashift from West to East in the global trade routes, projects like China’s One Belt One Road initiative, increase foreign interest in Turkey. Germans, who want to get a bigger share in trade to the East, want to make Turkey a hub in logistics for uninterrupted connection to Turkic Republics and the far East. Attending the 24th Transportation and Logistics Congress hosted by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ICC) last week, the representatives of the Logistics Association of Germany (LAG) offered to cooperate in logistics for uninterrupted connectivity to Asia. At the end of the meeting, it was decided to establish a joint working commission. Co-operation will create lots of investment opportunities from establishing new transport services to existing lines to building logistics centers in the eastern provinces of Turkey to take European industrialists closer to markets in Asia. In particular, it will offer great opportunities to pave the way for foreign investment in railways.
The German Ministry of Transport and Logistics Alliance, a consultancy and Armin Riedl, General Manager of Kombi Verkehr, one of the leading railway companies in Germany, attended the meeting held at Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO.) From Turkey, Transport Ministry officials and representatives from International Transport and Logistics Service Providers Association (UTIKAD) and the International Transporters’ Association (UND), the industry’s leading non-governmental organizations, joined the meeting.
Speaking to daily DUNYA on the details of the meeting, UTIKAD Board Member, Turgut Erkeskin, said that the most important issue discussed at the meeting was the effect of China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ on the transportation networks between countries and that cooperation could be developed in the field of logistics between Turkey and Germany.
Turn ng potent al nto act on
“For the last 10 years, the 21st century has been known as the century of Asia,” Erkeskin said. “In the process we are in, we see that economic and political power is shifting toward Asia. Economic cooperation with Turkey and countries to the east of Turkey is increasing while investments also shifting east. In particular, with China’s Belt and Road project, large investments in both logistics infrastructure and industrial facilities are being made. This development increases the demand for logistics services. Turkey has the distinction of being an important hub on this route with its potential to offer the most advantageous opportunities for transportation to countries with large development potential such as Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and China. Considering Turkey’s operability of intermodal connections with Europe, we have the opportunity to create a seamless service corridor through Turkey. Preparing its 2030 Master Plan, Germany at this point wants to put that potential into action in cooperation with Turkey.”
“Look ng for Turk sh partners”
According to Erkeskin, new transport services can be established on existing lines with this cooperation. Logistics centers can be established in Turkey’s eastern provinces for European industrialists and traders to be closer to the markets in Asia and prompt delivery facilities. New railway terminals can be established, attracting foreign direct investment. In addition, know-how transfers in railway operations will follow. “Thus, Turkey’s desire to take part in the East-West trade corridor for many years is now becoming a reality.”
It was decided to establish a joint working committee with the Logistics Alliance in Germany, which is one of the stakeholders in the Ministry of Transport. Erkeskin announced that the preliminary work on setting up the committee will begin in the coming weeks.
LAG’s Chief Advisor, Stefan Schroder, stated that logistics is Germany’s second-largest sector with a turnover of $250 billion, and they were optimistic about its future.
“In some areas, even if protectionist policies are increasing, logistics is like water and it will always find its way,” he said. “Even if there are various difficulties, we can overcome them together. Turkey has lots of companies active globally. Our companies are looking for Turkish partners. How can we use the Silk Road more effectively in rail transportation? How can we cooperate at Istanbul Airport? What kind of common solutions can we produce with other sectors? We have a wide range of cooperation opportunities ahead of us.”