East­ern con­nec­tions

Af­ter a series of meet­ings last week, Malaysian busi­ness­men see a rich fu­ture in Tur­key

Dünya Executive - - FRONT PAGE - HUSNIYE GUNGOR

Malaysian Prime Min­is­ter Ma­hathir Mo­hamad’s of­fi­cial visit to Tur­key at the end of July has started to bear fruit. Fol­low­ing the visit, which was cov­ered widely in Turk­ish and Malaysian me­dia, the Malaysia Ex­ter­nal Trade Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (MATRADE) acted proac­tively and vis­ited Ankara and Is­tan­bul with a trade del­e­ga­tion of 20 peo­ple. At the end of the three-day event, which tar­geted a $25 mil­lion busi­ness po­ten­tial, a $65 mil­lion busi­ness deal was signed. A Malaysian food com­pany im­me­di­ately started the process to open an of­fice in Tur­key while Arkas Lo­gis­tics took the first step to en­ter the Asian mar­ket.

Chair of the Malaysian del­e­ga­tion, MATRADE Ex­port Pro­mo­tion and Mar­ket Ac­cess Di­vi­sion Se­nior Di­rec­tor Abu Bakar Yu­sof, spoke to DUNYA Ex­ec­u­tive in Is­tan­bul on last week. Yu­sof said that more than 20 busi­ness peo­ple rep­re­sent­ing 15 Malaysian com­pa­nies held 150 oneon-one meet­ings with 65 Turk­ish com­pa­nies at the event in Is­tan­bul. The Malaysian com­pa­nies, mostly

in food and bev­er­ages, health­care, lo­gis­tics, bio-prod­ucts and pack­ag­ing, ex­plored dif­fer­ent ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion, he said. “Some of the com­pa­nies are look­ing at co­op­er­a­tion for dis­tri­bu­tion of their prod­ucts in Tur­key; some seek Turk­ish part­ners to open up to Tur­key’s neigh­bor­ing mar­kets. To us, Tur­key is a gate­way to Europe, the Mid­dle East and African mar­kets.” Yu­sof said that their pri­or­ity tar­get is Tur­key’s big do­mes­tic mar­ket. “Se­condly our goal is to reach other Asian mar­kets via

part­ner­ships with Turk­ish com­pa­nies. Malaysian com­pa­nies are al­ready ex­port­ing to the Asian mar­ket. The agenda of Turk­ish com­pa­nies is to de­liver their prod­ucts and ser­vices to Asia. In this sense, part­ner­ships tar­get­ing Asian mar­kets can be de­vel­oped by us­ing the ad­van­tages of the Malaysian con­nec­tion.”

“Cur­rent trade bal­ance in Malaysia’s fa­vor”

The cur­rent bilateral trade bal­ance is in Malaysia’s fa­vor and there is a po­ten­tial trade deficit for Tur­key, Yu­sof noted. “We have to find ways to in­crease Turk­ish prod­uct and ser­vice ex­ports to Malaysian and other Asian mar­kets. A third field of co­op­er­a­tion is tech­nol­ogy. Tur­key has very ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy in the agri­cul­ture, food and health­care in­dus­tries. Malaysian com­pa­nies can co­op­er­ate with Turk­ish com­pa­nies in in­creas­ing their pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity.”

MATRADE opened its Tur­key of­fice in 2014 when the Free Trade Agree­ment be­tween the two coun­tries was signed. Although its pri­or­ity is to pro­mote Malaysian prod­ucts and ser­vices to for­eign mar­kets, it looks at what Turk­ish com­pa­nies can of­fer to the coun­try for im­port sub­sti­tu­tion. Believing that Malaysian com­pa­nies need to be more in­formed about the op­por­tu­ni­ties Tur­key has to of­fer, MATRADE of­fi­cials have started to work on host­ing a del­e­ga­tion of Turk­ish com­pa­nies in Malaysia as a next step via hold­ing talks with the For­eign Eco­nomic Relations Board of Tur­key (DEIK).

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