India and Turkey, regional powers in their own respective geopolitical areas, have the potential to expand trade and investment relations exponentially in the coming years.
Towards this end, the Governments of the two countries are engaged in negotiating a free trade agreement, said Mr Dilip Dandekar, President, Indian Merchants' Chamber (IMC).
Addressing a business gathering of the two countries hosted by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ICOC), the IMC chief said that bilateral trade between the two countries was already growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 27 per cent and exceeded $3 billion last year.
“There are immense possibilities for economic collaboration, joint projects and investments in our regions that are mutually beneficial,” he asserted.
Buoyed by strong growth and business activity, India and Turkey have agreed to take the bilateral trade beyond $5 billion by 2012 and to well over $10 billion in the next ten years.
The IMC delegation to Turkey included senior officials from the Maharashtra government including chief executives of MMRDA and MIDC, as well as top industry executives from Videocon, IL&FS, Reliance Industries and Jet Airways.
Presentations from both sides highlighted trade and investment opportunities that are emerging in the wake of impressive GDP growth rates logged by the two countries.
Turkey's strengths are in traditional textiles and clothing, automotive, construction and electronics sectors. An interesting aspect is that in Turkey it is compulsory for private business entities to be a member of a chamber of commerce relevant to the business activity and region, which makes the chambers powerful semi-public entities.
Tenth in the series of IMC's annual event called ‘India Calling', the meeting brought together corporate heads and businessmen from the two countries in a seminar and B2B meetings to explore bilateral trade, investment and joint ventures in fields as diverse as infrastructure, agribusiness, energy, logistics, financial services and education.
As member of European Customs Union, Turkey can provide a gateway for India to service European and CIS markets.
On the occasion of India Calling 2011, IMC and ICOC signed a memorandum of understanding to work closely for cementing commercial relations. IMC President Mr Dandekar is the Chairman and Managing director of Camlin Ltd, makers of stationery and art colours.