Türkiye-Kuwait Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Türkiye (DEİK) on Thursday (November 4, 2021) launched its report on Kuwait and Türkiye bilateral economic relations. Chaired by Turkish Limak Holding's Board President Ebru Özdemir, the Report titled ‘Bilateral Trade and Foreign Direct Investment for Kuwait and Turkey: Leveraging Economic Relations to Promote Further Growth' aims to provide business circles, investors and decision makers both in Kuwait and in Turkey a practical guide to take forward their business plans.
The virtual launch event of the Report brought together high level representatives from the Turkish Embassy in Kuwait, Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA), Investment Office of Presidency of Republic of Türkiye and DEİK.
On the launch event Türkiye-Kuwait Business Council and Limak Chair Ebru Özdemir said: "Past 50 years since Türkiye and Kuwait established diplomatic relations, our bilateral relations on the whole enjoyed a steady development. The past 15 years in particular have witnessed active and fruitful interactions between two countries thanks to the strong dialogue between leaders of two countries. And today, bilateral trade relations between our countries are at a major crossroad with both countries are looking forward to advance cooperation". On Business Council's activities Limak's Özdemir said: "More efforts are needed to be spent to increase and boost bilateral economic cooperation between Turkey and Kuwait, especially in the post-pandemic period. As the Türkiye-Kuwait Business Council, we continue our activities since 2006 and always looking after for new ways to contribute the economic relations".
DEİK President Nail Olpak, in his welcoming address emphasized 3 main takeaways from the pandemic period, namely disruption of the supply chains, changing perception on logistics and urgent need for global supply chains resilience. President Olpak said: "As the Turkish business community we had and still have an uninterrupted supply chain from the beginning of the outbreak, so we're eager and we desire to have much more bilateral economic relations including direct investments with Kuwait".
President Olpak continued by: "We should cooperate on new and potential areas such as e-commerce, finance, banking & fintech (financial technology), but also on traditionally strong sectors, namely construction, infrastructure, medical sector, food and health sectors. In September 2021, as DEİK we organized a joint webinar with the participation of Kuwaiti banks and Turkish banks to further enhance the relations between two countries in both conventional banking sector and in Islamic banking, which I believe has a strong potential. I hope, these joint efforts will be useful and productive for both parties."
Burak Dağlıoğlu, the President of the Investment Office of Presidency of Republic of Türkiye, said the Report aims to provide an overview of the investment landscape in Türkiye and Kuwait. "I hope that this report will be a roadmap for the development of mutual trade and investments," he added. Turkish Investment Office's President Dağlıoğlu also stressed:
"a resilient and fast-growing economy, Türkiye offers business-friendly policies, deep talent pool, and global market access at the nexus of Europe, Asia, and Africa to attract sustainable FDI".
Mohammed Mulla Yaqoub, Deputy Director General for Business Development of KDIPAemphasized the trade and investment potential between Türkiye and Kuwait, and also business potential in logistics sector.Deputy Director General Yaqoub said: "We believe that the pandemic pushed all of us to become more sufficient and efficient, and this requires the collaboration among countries". KDIPA's Director GeneralYaqoub also emphasized the importance of Kuwait Vision 2023 for business investors: "In the scope of Kuwait Vision 2035, public sector started a huge privatization process and we want from Turkish companies to come and to become partner with us in the privatization process". Yaqoub also highlighted the Turkey's business-friendly environment and their desire to work for increasing sectoral diversity in the bilateral trade between Turkey and Kuwait.
Ayşe Hilal Sayan Koytak, Türkiye's Ambassador to Kuwait, on the launch event said that economic and commercial cooperation is at the core of Turkey-Kuwait relations. "Currently, there are 383 companies in Turkey having Kuwaiti investors. The total foreign direct investment inflows from Kuwait to Turkey between 2002 and 2020 already passed $2 billion," she added. So, by launching a report on bilateral trade and foreign direct investment, the Business Council is again underlining a crucial aspect of the bilateral ties, she highlighted.
On the Report
The Report encompasses a general picture of Türkiye-Kuwait bilateral economic cooperation and latest developments in the relations; it also highlights key sectors and potential areas of investment for both countries. Accompanied with practical information for future investors and a brief about the economy as a whole and agencies involved in advancing FDI in both the countries, the Report aims to draw the way forward for Türkiye and Kuwait in the economic sphere.
The Report could be reached at: https://www.deik.org.tr/information-center-publications
The recording of the virtual lauch could be reached at: https://youtu.be/DiWta3wAuV4
11. Türkiye Investment Conference Gala Dinner organized by DEİK/Türkiye-USA Business Council (TAIK), was held in New York on September 20, 2021, at the invitation of DEİK President Nail Olpak and TAİK President Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ, with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Trade Mehmet Muş, Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the Turkish Ambassador to Washington Murat Mercan and AK Party Deputy Chairman Binali Yıldırım.
At the Gala Dinner, which was attended by prominent representatives of the Turkish and American business communities, the importance of bilateral trade and economic relations was emphasized and a call for cooperation was issued. The Turkish Investment Conference Gala Dinner, which was held for the 11th time this year, hosted nearly 300 guests, including the leaders of the Turkish business community, the world's top investment companies and fund managers, and senior executives from the United States.
President Erdoğan: "Our flexible and high production capacity offers many opportunities for American companies"
Speaking at the 11th Türkiye Investment Conference Gala Dinner, T.C. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recalled that in May 2021, he exchanged views with the executives of some American companies via video conference and discussed new cooperation and investment opportunities, and that this time DEİK/Türkiye-USA Business Council met with valuable representatives of the American business community. stated that this provides the opportunity. Recalling that Türkiye and the U.S. have been two strong strategic partners and allies for 70 years, Erdoğan said, "This very special and sound cooperation has contributed to peace, stability and security in many regions of the world over the years. It has shown once again how important and valuable a partnership is. As in personal relationships, disagreements may arise from time to time in intergovernmental relations. We believe that these can be overcome through dialog in a framework of solidarity and mutual respect, and in the comprehensive meeting we confirmed our common will on this issue. We fully agree with Mr. President that it is possible and necessary to expand our economic relations. We jointly underlined our determination to increase our bilateral trade volume to $100 billion. This figure is a comfort if the right steps are taken. We agree that this is a realistic goal that can be achieved.
Despite epidemic conditions, bilateral trade volume between Türkiye and the U.S. increased to $21 billion last year. The U.S. ranks third among the countries to which Türkiye exports the most. We expect our bilateral trade volume to reach $25 billion by the end of this year. Our country has shown during the epidemic that it is a reliable link in global supply chains. We are continuing the work we began with the goal of leading our country to a more civil, democratic, and free constitution. We will continue to implement the necessary legislation to ensure that international investors can safely invest in our country. Our flexible and high production capacities offer many opportunities to American companies, especially in terms of supply chains and security of supply.".
Mehmet Muş: "We want to further strengthen our trade and investment relations with our strategic partners like the U.S."
Noting that Türkiye has achieved serious economic breakthroughs in the recent past without being overshadowed by global and regional problems, Minister of Trade Mehmet Muş said: "The Turkish economy, which has been tested by both political and economic tensions over the past 20 years, has successfully overcome all difficulties. It has a vision to complete its digital transformation, have the most advanced production technology and consolidate its position as a manufacturing and trade hub with high competitiveness and strong logistical and legal infrastructure. "We want to further strengthen our trade and investment relations with our strategic partners such as the US on a global scale. We are convinced that in the coming period, together with the U.S., we will find new solutions at all levels, both in many issues affecting our bilateral trade and in the development of the multilateral trading system," he said.
Nail Olpak: "The way to increase bilateral trade volume is through our state-centric approach"
Nail Olpak, President of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), said, "We are approaching our U.S. action plan with a multifaceted and dynamic perspective. We will be more supportive of our business community with a state-centric approach.Currently, our DEİK/Türkiye-USA Business Council has committee structures in 7 states, and we aim to increase this number to 13 by the end of the year. We believe that the way to increase bilateral trade volume between Türkiye and the U.S. is through our state-centric approach.
Olpak stressed the need for cooperation on social issues and the goal of strengthening economic and trade ties, recalling the words of Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean by plane, "Anyone who has the heart to do something has the oceans to fly," and said, "Success in the heart. As trusted representatives of the Turkish and American business communities, we have more oceans to cross, but we have strong hearts to overcome them to serve our common interests by strengthening our cooperation in both social and economic issues."
Yalçındağ: "The experience of the Turkish entrepreneur is clear, his courage is clear, his success is obvious... We want our American friends to be partners in this success."
DEİK/Türkiye- USA Business Council (TAİK) Chairman Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ expressed his pleasure that the Türkiye Investment Conference Gala Dinner, which could not be organized in the last two years due to the Covid-19 epidemic measures, could be realized this year with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Yalçındağ pointed out that TAIK has never abandoned its priorities despite the change in habits due to the global epidemic, "We have tried to open new opportunities by asking ourselves how we can contribute more to the economic and commercial relations between the two countries. We have made it our mission to contribute to the areas that are waiting to mature between Türkiye and the United States.
Yalçındağ pointed out that the volume of trade between the two countries does not meet its potential despite the obvious annual increase, "As TAİK, we are acting proactively and implementing success-oriented projects so that trade and investment between our countries reach the level they deserve. We are paving the way," he said. Referring to investments in defense industry and technology, Yalçındağ said, "The experience of the Turkish entrepreneur is clear, his courage is clear, his success is obvious... We want our American friends to share in this success as well. Let us experience together the justifiable pride of greater success."
11. Türkiye Investment Conference Gala Dinner; TEB Holding, THY and Kibar Holding are platinum sponsors; Halkbank, Hepsiburada, IC İçtaş, Limak Holding, TAV and Trendyol are gold sponsors; Getir, TBNG, Turkcell, TUSAŞ, Transatlantic Petroleum and Yemeksepeti became silver sponsors.
Nail Olpak, President of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), published a message about the 15 July Democracy and National Unity Day.
Olpak stated the following:
"Five years have passed since the treacherous coup attempt on 15 July 2016 by the FETO terrorist organization, which covets Turkey's unity and integrity. With the strong power of our state and the unshakable will of our nation, we did not let those who tried to disrupt our democracy as one body by displaying an exemplary stance to the world. In that dark night, we witnessed with deep pain that many valued members of our country were heroically martyred or become a veteran in order to protect our homeland.
As a result of the determination of our President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and our state, we proved once again that the sovereignty belongs to the nation unconditionally. On the occasion of July 15, the Day of Democracy and National Unity, we commemorate with respect, mercy and gratitude all our heroes of democracy, who put their lives on the line against the traitors who tried to plunge Turkey into darkness. We hope that this beautiful country and our beloved nation will not experience such tragic events again.
While our state and nation continue their struggle by overcoming many cyclical and regional difficulties, they continue to walk confidently towards their goals with the vision of "Strong Turkey". Turkey, which is among the 20 largest economies in the world, managed to become one of the rare countries that showed positive growth success even during the Covid-19 epidemic, which changed the course of global trade. We hope that in 2021, we will reach an export volume of 200 billion dollars for the first time in the history of the Republic.
As the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), the locomotive platform of the Turkish business world, we will continue our business diplomacy activities, which we carry out with a focus on "more trade" with our 146 Business Councils. While we carry the power of the Turkish private sector to the whole world, our struggle for democracy, which we carry out together with our Turkish diaspora representatives, will never stop.
We will continue to work for Turkey day and night in order for our country to open new doors in foreign trade, break new records in exports, become the cradle of international investments and one of the centers of attraction for trade."
Nail Olpak, President of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), made a written statement on May 11th 2021, regarding the attacks carried out by Israeli security forces in Gaza and Masjid al-Aqsa. Olpak stated the following: "The violence inflicted by Israel in front of the whole world continues by attacking innocent civilians and holy places of worship in Gaza and Masjid al-Aqsa, even during the holy month of Ramadan. As a family, we strongly condemn Israel's attacks on the holy and innocent. Masjid al-Aqsa, where all religions meet as the common heritage of humanity, is our common value. We invite the whole world to become one voice against these attacks, as business people who believe in the value of peace and humanity. We call Israel to stop this oppressive attitude that is beyond any law and the violence targeting innocent civilians immediately. As DEİK, we will continue to support the Palestinian people and to stand for peace and humanity."
As Turkish businesspeople, we believe that it is of utmost importance to continue with our commercial and economic relations smoothly with Saudi Arabia.
We believe that the growth and development of Turkish and Saudi economies, which complement one another, rely on continuing trade between our countries on a win-win basis. Because, we know that trade brings wealth and prosperity to people.
Despite all these, we regret to see that Saudi Arabia is taking an increasingly negative stance against Turkish companies. We learn from the complaints reported by Turkish companies, which are also taken up by the press, that Saudi authorities state that no imports would be made from Turkey. Furthermore, it is stated that many Saudi companies which supply goods from Turkish companies are forced to sign a letter of commitment not to import goods from Turkey.
And recently, global logistics companies have been warning their customers about the obstacles that Turkish companies face in Saudi Arabia, that they should be prepared for long waiting times at Saudi customs for goods arriving from Turkey and that imports from Turkey might even be blocked. Thus, this issue has gone beyond bilateral economic relations and become a problem for global supply chains.
Finally, it has been a massive disappointment for the businesspeople of both countries that the President of the Council of Saudi Chambers Mr. Ajlan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ajlan tweeted on October 3, 2020 that it is the duty of all Saudi nationals to boycott Turkish products.
All these negative developments we have pointed out above, are also valid for Turkish contracting companies that have contributed to the Saudi Arabian economy for years and have successfully completed hundreds of important projects in the country so far. Our contractors have not been invited to the important tenders for sometime and they have not been given any new big projects.
We deeply regret the discriminatory treatment that our companies face in Saudi Arabia.
Any official or unofficial initiative to block trade between the two countries will have negative repercussions on our trade relations and be detrimental to economies and people of both countries.
Decreasing supply from Turkey will lower the business volume and revenues of Saudi companies and will negatively affect the purchasing power of Saudi nationals who prefer Turkish products for their quality and price with confidence.
In this context, we, the Turkish businesspeople, expect Saudi authorities to take concrete initiatives to resolve the problems in our trade and economic relations.
We are confident that we can surmount any kind of problem with constructive dialogue and cooperation.
M. Rifat HİSARCIKLIOĞLU Bendevi PALANDÖKEN İsmail GÜLLE Nail OLPAK
TOBB President TESK President TİM President DEİK President
Simone KASLOWSKI Abdurrahman KAAN Mithat YENİGÜN Ayşem SARGIN
TÜSİAD President MÜSİAD President TMB President YASED President
Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum (TABEF), jointly organized online for the very first time by Turkish Ministry of Trade, the African Union and Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEiK), was opened on Thursday October 8, 2020 with the attandence of President of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Minister of Trade H.E. Ruhsar Pekcan, Economic Affairs Commissioner of African Union Commission (AUC) H.E. Victor Harrison, President of DEiK Mr. Nail Olpak and Coordinating Chairperson of DEiK/Turkey-Africa Business Councils Ms. Berna Gozbasi.
The global, digital-first and two-day Forum will provide access to hot business topics discussed during 10 panel sessions, 43 high-level speakers, live networking among 2.500 participants from Turkey and 71 countries (46 African countries), G2B meetings and virtual exhibiting booths on October 8-9 2020.
Top 5 sectors of the participant companies are Agro-Industry, Building & Infrastructure,
Trade & Distribution, Manufacturing and Energy.
About 68.000 people watched the opening session of the Forum's livestream on social media.
H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey
Turkey is proud to have contributed to African countries in their fight against the novel coronavirus with Turkish-made respirators, masks and overalls, the country's president said on Thursday.
"The peoples of Africa were unfortunately left to their fate in the face of the virus while Western developed countries were engaged in mask wars," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during the Turkey-Africa Business Forum organized by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) via video link.
Erdogan underlined that the Turkey-Africa Health Partners Platform could facilitate comprehensive and permanent cooperation between the two sides.
"The essence of our relations with Africa is sincerity, brotherhood and solidarity," he said, adding that Turkey has never held short-term interests towards the continent.
Ankara does not approve designs to sustain the colonial practices of the past through new methods, he asserted, adding that as a country that has never partaken in colonialism, Turkey refuses to approach the continent in an arrogant or bossy way.
He underlined that Turkey did not see African countries as only markets for Turkish products, but rather sought win-win cooperation.
"We would like to win together, to succeed together, to walk together [with Africa]."
Erdogan noted that trade volume with the African continent, which was $5.4 billion in 2003, reached $26.2 billion in 2019.
"We should not allow the negativities caused by the pandemic to slow down the momentum we have got in our relations," Erdogan said adding: "We have to take it [trade volume] to over $50 billion in a few years.
The total value of projects undertaken by Turkish companies across Africa has reached approximately $70 billion, he said, adding the market value of Turkish investments across the continent has exceeded $6 billion.
Underlining Turkish companies' critical role in overcoming the infrastructure and superstructure deficiencies in Africa, he stressed: "Turkish companies apply a unique model, from technology transfer to knowledge and experience sharing, from capacity investment to increase in joint ventures."
He also noted the Turkish firms have contributed to generate local employment and production in the countries where they are operating.
"Turkish investors, who meet most of their workforce needs locally, did not make the mistake of importing workers from abroad like many foreign companies.
"More than 100,000 African labourers have gained employment opportunities thanks to Turkish investors," Erdogan added.
Turkey will be among the fastest-recovering countries from the novel coronavirus pandemic, its top trade official said Thursday.
H.E. Ruhsar Pekcan, Minister of Trade of the Republic of Turkey
According to the latest OECD report, Turkey -- after China and South Korea -- will be among the least affected countries by the global economic downturn caused by the pandemic, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said during the Turkey-Africa Business Forum, organized by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEiK).
At the event, participants are discussing post-pandemic economic relations between Turkey and Africa, as well as several other topics such as e-commerce, agriculture and free trade agreements, she noted.
Pekcan underlined that the forum was hosting business people from 81 countries, of which over 60 of were African nations, adding that more than 50 international speakers would speak at the event.
"Turkey prioritizes the concept of win-win with Africa relations," she underlined.
Pekcan said that while Turkey defends its rights and benefits, it attaches importance to the rights of the least developed countries as well.
She recalled that Turkey's bilateral trade was up by 7%, reaching $26.2 billion last year and stranding at $18.2 billion in the first nine months of 2020 despite the virus outbreak.
Trade and investment between the two sides will expand further in the coming period, Pekcan added.
Mr. Nail Olpak, President of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEiK)
2063 Africa vision
Nail Olpak, chairman of the DEIK, said: "We can develop more investment and cooperation projects, including PPP [public-private partnerships], especially in areas such as health, transportation, engineering and architecture, banking, manufacturing and industry where information technologies are used.
During his speech, Olpak noted Pekcan's ongoing efforts to establish logistics centers in Africa, saying these centers are very important in terms of supply chains.
He said the 2063 vision of the African Union and its goals in manufacturing, industrialization and value-added production, which are set to transform Africa into a global power center, also shaped Turkey's economic relations with the continent.
The biggest problem, on the other hand, of the Turkish private sector in Africa is the financing of its activities, he said, adding that though Turk Eximbank provided intensive support for these operations, more support was needed.
H.E. Prof. Victor Harison, the Economic Affairs Commissioner of African Union Commission
Victor Harison, the Economic Affairs Commissioner of African Union Commission, said the COVID-19 pandemic had damaged the Africa continent deeply, with 1.5 million people infected and 36,000 dead.
Before the pandemic, Africa's GDP growth forecast for 2020 had been 3.4%. The current predictions are between minus 4.9% and minus 2.1%, Harison stated.
The inflation rate is currently over 5% in several African countries, he added.
The continent needs to raise its manufacturing exports and reduce the use of processed goods to close its fiscal gap, said Harison.
For over a year, Turkey has been doing "serious work" with Germany, France, Japan, and Hungary towards cooperation in other countries thanks to the country's quality work, speed, and competitiveness, Nail Olpak told the Turkey-Slovenia Business Forum in Istanbul.
"I would like to remind our Slovenian friends that the perception of our country in those markets is important," he underlined.
Fatih Canpolat, the head of DEIK's Turkey-Slovenia Business Council, stressed that in 2019 the trade volume between the two countries had risen 20% on an annual basis to top the $2 billion mark.
Canpolat pointed to the "significant potential" in several sectors of both sides, such as infrastructure, construction, tourism, automobiles, logistics, IT, biotechnology, medicine, and health tourism.
The close ties Slovenia, an EU member since 20014, enjoys with the union is an advantage for Turkish companies seeking to enter European markets, Canpolat added.
Zeljko Puljic, Canpolat's Slovenian counterpart, also said that the existing cooperation between the two countries can be improved.
Slovenia is currently focused especially on infrastructure investments, and there are opportunities for running joint business in the country, he said.
Turkish trade minister says bilateral trade volume should be doubled
VILNIUS, Lithuanian (AA) - Turkey and Lithuania are looking to double the bilateral trade volume from its current level, Turkey's trade minister said Friday.
"Our trade volume with Lithuania is around $562 million, which is very low. We aim to increase it to $1 billion as a first stage," Ruhsar Pekcan, currently visiting Lithuania, told the Turkey-Lithuania Business Forum in the capital Vilnius.
Pointing to Lithuania's success in innovation, technology, FinTech, communications, and information technology, Pekcan said the ministry backs the cooperation of firms from both sides.
She also highlighted the potential of health tourism.
Lithuanian Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas said the country is a springboard for Turkish companies to reach Baltic states.
Turkey can be a gateway to Asian countries for Lithuania, Vaiciunas said, adding: "Actually, we want to close this gap."
Nail Olpak, the head of Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), stressed that Turkish companies use Lithuania's investments in R&D infrastructure and information technology valleys.
DEAR OUR DISTINGUISHED COUNTERPART,
On behalf of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, this letter addresses to your kind attention about the explanation of Turkey's most recent peace operation in Northern Syria.
Turkey is firmly committed to fighting against terrorism originating from Syria. We are a committed member of the Global Coalition against DEASH and Turkey is the only country to put a chest-to-chest combat against DEASH with boots on the ground. Turkey has already conducted two major counter-terrorism operations (Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch) in northwest Syria. Threat of terrorism originating from Syria and targeting our borders is not limited to DEASH. During the last two years, especially from the east of River Euphrates, we have been exposed to more than hundred cases of attacks or hostile acts by PYD/YPG, the Syrian offshoot of PKK which is designated as a terrorist organization by the EU and NATO. PYD/YPG has perpetrated terrorist attacks also within Syria and against Syrians and Northwest Syria is a particular case in point. More than 200 cases of attacks and killing or wounding of scores of civilians took place while PYD/YPG-affiliated elements assumed responsibility in these cases without hesitation. Turkey's expectations and sensitivities regarding the PYD/YPG threat were repeatedly shared with our Allies. It is obvious that, Turkey could no longer tolerate the presence of terrorists at our borders. Turkey is compelled to take our destiny into our hands. That is why "Operation Peace Spring"is launched.
The main objectives of this operation will be to ensure Turkey's border security, neutralize terrorists in the region and save Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of these terrorists. The operation will be carried out on the basis of international law, in accordance with the right of self-defense as enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter and the relevant Security Council resolutions. Turkey notified UN Secretary General, President of the UN Security Council and NATO Secretary General of the start of this operation and intends to continue the operation until all terrorists have been wiped out of the region, our border security has been ensured, and local Syrians have been liberated from the tyranny of PYD/YPG as well as the DEASH threat. The operation also aims to facilitate safe and voluntary returns of displaced Syrians since Turkey has no plans whatsoever to modify the demographic structure in the operation area. It is the other way around the operation will give a chance to at least one million displaced Syrians, including Kurds, Arabs, and Christians alike, to return to their ancestors' lands after having been subject to ethnic cleansing by PYD/YPG.
Turkey's counter-terrorism efforts in Syria will contribute to the territorial integrity and unity of Syria by disrupting separatist agendas. The issue of foreign terrorist fighters can be effectively dealt with only by collective action by the international community. Protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure is our top priority and since the beginning, Turkey has always been at the forefront of the efforts to combat DEASH and all other radical actors.
As a final conclusion, on behalf of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, we would like to have your kind attention towards the manipulated disinformation regarding the current operation on the ground causes only the escalation of polarization and radicalization of all actors in Syria. When you follow the current situation from different communication channels, we kindly request you to consider official statements from the Turkish government. Turkey is going to make sure that the current operation will have no harmful impact on Turkey's rebalancing process of its economy and its economic development. We also believe that this operation will bring peace, stability and prosperity to the region and to all over the world.
Turkey and Paraguay are committed to support business between the two countries, the Turkish trade minister said on Tuesday.
"Trade and economic relations between Turkey and Paraguay are open to development and have a great potential," said Ruhsar Pekcan, speaking at the Turkey- Paraguay Business Forum hosted by Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) in Istanbul.
"The current trade volume between the two countries certainly does not reflect their potential," said Pekcan adding the friendship between the two countries should be consolidated through increasing mutual economic and trade relations.
"We will work together with our business world on the diversification of our products and trade. We, as two states, are determined to support the business world," she said.
"Paraguay is in the center of Latin America. It is right in the middle of our target markets. We have similar cultures. Although geographically distant, this cultural similarity brings us closer to each other," said Pekcan.
"I have no doubt that we will reflect our cultural partnerships onto the business sphere," she added.
She also emphasized that the Turkish contractors have come forward with their worldwide timely delivery of high quality, and Turkish companies have undertaken only 25 projects in Latin America worth $975 million.
"We have no such experience in Paraguay yet. I hope that Turkish and Paraguayan companies can work together in projects, and even third countries from Latin America can work with us."
Paraguay's Industry and Trade Minister Liz Cramer said that there are opportunities for investors in many areas, particularly in the sectors of tourism, energy, agriculture and meat in Paraguay.
"The meat of naturally-fed animals is ready to enter the Turkish markets. We have presented all our documentations. The process continues," Cramer added.
We came to Turkey to say that they have an ally in South American Common Market (Mercosur), she said.
"There is also the possibility for exports to other Latin American markets through Paraguay. You can present your various products there. Perhaps Paraguay can also be seen as a transit platform. We hope that in the coming years we can see Turkey as a direct investor."
Nail Olpak, the president of DEIK, also said that Turkish business world's goal is to increase trade, business partnerships and mutual investments.
Turkish exports to the Paraguay totaled $40 million, while imports from the Latin American country were $107 million last year, Olpak said, adding that their top priority request is to sign agreements as soon as possible to remove barriers to trade.
"In January 2018, the Mutual Promotion and Protection of Investments Agreement was prepared to establish appropriate legal infrastructure for the development of investment relations between Turkey and Paraguay. We expect return to this step," Olpak said.
"We aim to establish our Business Council of Turkey and Paraguay as soon as possible," he added.