On June 18 2019, the Dış Ekonomik İlişkiler Kurulu (DEIK), otherwise known as the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, made a trip to Manila to explore opportunities and business synergies between Turkey and the Philippines. Held at the CIP Building, McKinley Hill Town Center, Fort Bonifacio,Taguig, the 18-man delegation represented Turkish companies from the industries of energy, textile, media, construction, infrastructure, cosmetics, food, and tourism.
According to a previous mobile message to reporters by Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez “The President of the Turkish-Philippine Business Chamber Ilkem Sahin is bullish on exploring all these opportunities in the Philippines, committing to invest and buy more of our products. He has direct mandate from Turkey President Erdogan, being his friend, to strengthen business ties with the Philippines. We target to double our trade and investment in two to three years.1”
In 2016, Turkey was the Philippines’ 45th trading partner, 45th export market, and 43th import supplier. By 2017, total trade between the two countries hit a significant increase with USD 163 million.2
Food, Fruit & Construction
In a separate meeting that took place on April 5 2018, Turkish-Philippines Business Chamber (TPBC) Chairman Mr. Ilkem Sahin said, “the Philippines could be a hub to distribute Turkish products to ASEAN consumers, while Turkey could be the Philippine’s gateway to the Middle East markets, products such as coco sugar, coco oil, and mangoes have big potential in the Turkish market.3”
For this delegation, food and fruit was noticeably the prominent product amongst the Turkish delegates.
In line with the administration’s “Build, Build, Build program”, TPBC is also looking at the construction sector to generate millions in investments either through joint ventures or supply of construction materials. The group also plans to participate in the rehabilitation of Marawi by providing low-costing housing to its residents, tie up on engineering projects, mobile hospitals and construction of port and cold storage facilities as possible opportunities.3
Present in the meeting was Ambassador of Turkey to the Philippines, H.E. Artemiz Sumer; Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI) Chairman & Director for International Affairs, Dr. Francis Chua; PCCI President Ms. Ma. Alegria Sibal-Limjoco; Philippines-Turkey Business Council (PTBC) Chairman Mr. Ernesto Chua; Turkey-Philippines Business Council (TPBC) Chairman, Mr. Ilkem Sahin and DTI Trade Service Officer, Ms. Clariza Mae Columna.
Attending on behalf of the Philippines-Sweden Business Council and the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. are Atty. Maila De Castro and Maria Paula Tolentino.
1 Inquirer. 9 February 2018. “PH eyes doubling trade, investment with Turkey”. https://business.inquirer.net/245670/ph-eyes-doubling-trade-investment-turkey
2 Department of Trade & Industry. 7 February 2018. “DTI Officials address Turkish Business Group”. https://www.dti.gov.ph/businesses/494-main-content/paris-news/11667-dti-officials-address-turkish-biz-group
3 Philippine Chamber of Commerce. “PCCI And Turkish Businessmen Discuss Expansion Of Philippines- Turkey Trade”. http://philippinechamber.com/News.aspx?newsID=1093
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of boutique digital marketing company, SEM Scribe Publishing House. A certified Safety Officer, she is an advocate of responsible mining, quarrying and mineral extractive practices with clear focus on the quadruple bottom line (people, planet, profit and purpose). She is also the Vice President for Programs under women-mining NGO, Diwata – Women in Resource Development, Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc.
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