Germany is a close trade partner and friend of Turkey. I therefore have the pleasure to welcome the “Ankiros fair“, which provides us with a multilayered insight into the cultural, political, economic and legal framework of Turkey, and thus promoting a better understanding of the country.
Since the reforms of Turgut Özal in the 1980s, Turkey is undergoing a fundamental change, which is aimed at liberalizing the economy and integrating it into the world market. As a result, the country has achieved growth rates of almost 5 percent per annum in the last 20 years. Especially the growth rates of the last two years, 9,2 % in 2010 and 8,5 % in 2011 reflect the dynamic development of Turkish economy. In this manner the last two years’ growth rates shall be emphasized: 9.2 percent in 2010 and 8.5 percent in 2011. In the course of these positive developments, foreign investments into Turkey have significantly increased in the last years. This development is especially based on the stability-oriented finance and economic policies of the Turkish government, which are supported by treaties with the International Monetary Fund.
Germany is the most important trade partner of Turkey, with a majority of its exports and imports being conducted with Germany. The trade volume with Germany amounted to €31,44bn in 2011, while more than 2.338 German companies with investments where active in Turkey. There is an increasing number of small- to medium-sized companies that want to enter the market. The interest, but also the success of German companies in Turkey is also based on the good image of German products -“Made in Germany”.
Turkey is an interesting location of industry and commerce for German companies. It has a significant domestic market with 72 million inhabitants with a constantly increasing economic and per capita income. Furthermore, markets in the Middle East and “Turk states” can be tapped from Turkey.
Besides economic aspects, social relations should not be neglected: Around 3 million people with a Turkish ethnic background live in Germany and each year, about ca. 4 million German tourists visit Turkey. However, the following figure is also a significant one: German-Turkish weddings lie at over 100,000.
At the latest since the negotiation for accession to the EU started in 2005, Turkey has increasingly become the focus point of Germany and international interests. In 2012, Istanbul is also the European Capital of Sport and in 2010 was the European Capital of Culture.
Promoting respect and tolerance between cultures is one of the most important aims of German foreign policy. In September 2006, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier together with his Turkish colleague Abdullah Gül, brought the “Ernst-Reuter-Initiative” into life in order to promote the German-Turkish cultural dialogue. Therefore I would be happy, if the “Ankiros fair” could make a contribution in making German businessmen and –women active in Turkey, to ambassadors of an open, tolerant and sympathetic dialogue.
German-Turkish chamber of industry and commerce
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