Year of Establishment: 2002
Founder Chairperson: Yılmaz Argüden
Counterpart Organisation: Turkish-Canadian Business Council
Chairperson representing Türkiye: Mehmet Yılmaz
Company: Tüprag Metal Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.Ş.
Counterpart Chairperson: Gar Knutson
Company: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Adviser to the Board
The Türkiye-Canadian Business Council pursues the mission of advancing the economic cooperation between Türkiye and Canada. In 1995, and coinciding with the creation of the NAFTA region, comprising Canada, the United States of America and Mexico, a Declaration of Intent was signed with the Canadian Exporters’ Association which led to the establishment of the DEİK/Türkiye-Canada Business Council. In the course of a restructuring, the Canadian Exporters’ Association changed its name to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). In 2002, the CME and the Turkish-Canadian Business Council signed a Declaration of Intent, and on 26 June 2002, the Business Council was official established in Montreal at an event attended by the then State Minister of the Republic of Türkiye, Kemal Derviş, and the Minister of International Trade of Canada, Pierre St. Pettigrew. Since January 2008, the Atlantic Council of Canada runs the Secretariat of the Türkiye-Canada Business Council.
Since 2004, the volume of trade between Türkiye and Canada is constantly increasing. The main Turkish export goods are textiles, iron and steel products, petro-chemicals, marble and ceramics, food products (dried fruits and nuts), olive oil, jewellery and glassware. The main import goods from Canada are: anthracite coal and its derivatives, paper and paper products, electrical and electronic devices, and optical and medical instruments. The priority areas of bilateral cooperation are: energy, construction, mining, IT, education, health, tourism and the environment.
The Business Council and its Counterpart Organisation which share a member basis with the DEİK/Türkiye-USA Business Council (TAİK), have so far organised mutual delegation visits, promotional seminars and joint meetings in Ontario, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. The events offer member companies and high-level representatives of the state and the public sector an opportunity to exchange views and opinions. At the Annual Joint Conferences, held in turns in Türkiye and Canada, panel discussions are organised on a variety of issues such as trade, investments, telecommunication, finance, agriculture, construction, energy and textiles. These events also serve as forum for “direct talks” between Turkish and Canadian companies. Over the years, participation in the Annual Joint Conference has increased. The Council also facilitates special meetings for member companies in the context of this visits programme.
Besides promoting investment opportunities in Türkiye among Canadian businesspeople, the Council offers a range of other services and cooperates with business development organisations. The Business Council also identifies legal and practical restrictions to trade and joint ventures, and holds talks on their removal or improvement with the respective bodies that represent the business community.
Another important area of activities is research and studies on the economic development in member countries and on trade and industrial cooperation. For this purpose, the Council cooperates with foreign government organisations and their representations, with academic institutions, international organisations and research facilities. The collected data are evaluated and compiled in reports. In this context, the Business Council makes use of the synergies created by the 86 Business Councils that operate under its roof, and by its cooperation with international organisations such as the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the Asian Development Bank. The Business Council publishes its research and studies in Turkish and English language bulletins.