4. 2. 2013 19:09
Business between Czech companies and Turkey on the rise
Held at the Straka Academy, the meeting saw the prime ministers talk about the growing economic cooperation between the two countries "The balance of trade increased more than sevenfold in the last decade. Nonetheless, we agreed that this outcome is not and should not be accepted as satisfactory because there is a tremendous potential for futher growth," said Prime Minister Nečas.
Turkey is one of 12 countries to which the Czech government awarded priority status in its Export Strategy for the Years 2012-2020. "In my view, trade between the Czech Republic and Turkey should increase to at least five billion dollars in the next several years," said the Turkish premier, adding that the current commercial exchange between the two countries is at only half of its full potential.
In addition to Prime Minister Erdoğan, the Turkish delegation included Minister for European Affairs Egemen Bağış, Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz, Minister of Economy Zafer Çağlayan, and Minister of Health Mehmet Müezzinoğlu.
With its strong domestic market that counts nearly 75 million consumers, Turkey is a great challenge and opportunity for Czech exporters and contractors. The prospective areas for economic cooperation and the specific measures for stimulating its development are laid down in the Protocol of the Fifth Conference of the Czech-Turkish Mixed Economic Commission held in Prague during the visit. The protocol was signed by Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Martin Kuba and Turkish Minister of Economy Zafer Çağlayan.
Prime Minister: Turkey belongs to the European Union
Premier Nečas and his Turkish counterpart spoke about available options to bolster cooperation between the two countries with regard to defense and security. In the framework of NATO, the Czech Republic and Turkey lead multinational flight personnel training projects and cooperate successfully in fighting organized crime.
Another important issue discussed during the meeting was the relations between Turkey and the European Union. Turkey and the EU began accession talks in 2005. "We continue to believe that Turkey should be given the chance to become a full-fledged member of the European Union after it meets all accession criteria," said Premier Nečas. He described Turkey as an important partner to the EU and praised the constructive role it plays in the Middle East region.
At the end of the meeting, the two prime ministers signed a joint declaration expressing their interest in strengthening Czech-Turkish relations through cultural cooperation. In this area, the Turkish government plans to open the Yunus Emre Culture Center in Prague. The two countries also maintain intensive exchange at the level of tertiary education.
Czech Republic and Turkey cooperate on energy
Prime Minister Erdoğan was accompanied by a delegation of over one hundred business executives from leading Turkish corporations as well as industrial and export associations. They met with their prospective partners from the Czech business sector during a business forum that included presentations of both prime ministers.
Cooperation between Czech and Turkish firms develops favorably particularly in the energy industry. In the past, Czech manufacturers took part in the building of Turkey's energy infrastructure. Presently, they supply technologies for the construction of the Yunus Emre and Yotes thermal power stations. In the future, Czech firms could participate in the modernization of other energy facilities. Another area with a considerable potential for cooperation is Turkey's ambitious program aimed at the development of nuclear energy and renewable energy sources.