The Spain-Türkiye Business Forum, organised by DEİK, was held on 13 June 2024 in Madrid, the capital of Spain, with the participation of President of the Republic of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Spanish Government Pedro Sanchez, DEİK President Nail Olpak, President of the Spanish Employers Confederation (CEOE) Antonio Garamendi, Chairperson of the Spain-Türkiye Business Council and BBVA Carlos Torres Vila, Chairperson of the Türkiye-Spain Business Council Ebru Özdemir and business people from both countries. During the forum, a memorandum of understanding was signed between DEİK and the CEOE.

Erdoğan: "Our trade volume increased tenfold and reached 19.2 billion dollars"

Stating that the deep-rooted and strong relations between Türkiye and Spain are fuelled by the courageous and visionary steps taken by the business world, President of the Republic of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: "The contribution of our esteemed business people is great in defining our relations as a comprehensive partnership since 2021. In recent years, both the Covid-19 pandemic and the conflicts in our neighbouring geography have increased the challenges facing global trade. Our solidarity and cooperation are vital in the face of current challenges.

Our trade volume, which hovered around 2 billion dollars before 2002, reached 19.2 billion dollars last year with a tenfold increase. Thus, we have almost reached our target of 20 billion dollars. I believe that we will carry this volume much further with your valuable contributions by joining hands together. The fact that Spain is the sixth country investing the most in Türkiye with 740 companies and a stock of approximately 11 billion dollars is essentially the result of this approach."

Sanchez: "Türkiye will continue to increase its economic weight and importance in the coming decades"

Pedro Sanchez, President of the Spanish Government, said: "Spain and Türkiye are two countries with the most marvellous relations in every field. The regular organisation of these summits is a very good example of this. Türkiye is a key economic partner for Spain and an important player in its region. "Spanish companies appreciate the improving outlook of the Turkish economy, the courage of the measures taken, the robustness of the economic programme."

Stating that they have always had confidence in Türkiye, Sanchez said, "We have very solid foundations for this. We have always trusted Türkiye. While some others withdrew from Türkiye, we doubled our investments. We have maintained this trust. Türkiye will continue to increase its economic weight and importance in the coming decades. Türkiye and Spain are friendly countries that trust each other and have special relations". Stating that Spain has decided to review the existing Mutual Investment Protection and Development Agreement with Türkiye and that this is very valuable, Sanchez said that "5 memorandums of understanding to be signed between state institutions will further accelerate investments and joint projects in third countries".

DEİK President Nail Olpak said, "I wish that our MoU agreement between DEIK and CEOE will also be auspicious. Türkiye and Spain Intergovernmental Summit Meetings have been held since 2009. In 2021, we welcome the definition of this relationship as "Comprehensive Partnership". Today, we will organise 4 simultaneous panels covering 11 sectors in cooperation with our DEIK counterpart CEOE and hosted by BBVA. I believe that we should develop our existing cooperation in the fields of automotive, iron and steel, agriculture and food, banking and finance, tourism, aviation and defence in new areas. Green and digital transformation, which is of great importance in the construction of our future, is very important both in terms of the steps that need to be taken, the opportunities that these steps will create, and the threats that will occur if the necessary steps are not taken." Stating that Spain supports the digital transformation of SMEs in areas such as artificial intelligence and cloud technology with its Digital 2025 vision, Olpak said, "Türkiye also attaches great importance to digitalisation for SMEs and Digital Türkiye 2030 road map reveals our strategies. Together with our DEIK Digital Technologies Business Council, we would like to do more joint work with representatives of the Spanish business world. At the 12th Spain-Türkiye Digital Platform held yesterday, our companies discussed these issues and an MoU was signed between our Digital Technologies Business Council and the Spanish Digital Economy Association (ADIGITAL). We believe that the modernisation and expansion of the scope of the EU-Türkiye Customs Union Agreement is long overdue and we expect more support from our Spanish friends in this regard."

Following the opening speeches of the Forum, B2B meetings were held with the panels of 'Business-Investment Opportunities and Financing', 'Infrastructure, Mobility and Transport', 'Energy, Environment and Green Transformation' and 'Industry and Technology'.

The sponsors of the forum were Limak Europe, Çimsa Cementos, Türkiye Sigorta, Cerealto, Beldeport, Beyçelik Gestamp, Doğuş Hospitality, Hidromek, Kibar Holding and Uno.