“In the last three years of my tenure in India, I have witnessed keen interest among business community of India and Turkey to strengthen trade and investment relations. Many Turkish construction and infrastructure companies are executing projects in India. Turkish companies are involved in developing five metro rail stations in Mumbai itself. The ground handling service at Mumbai airport is handled by a Turkish firm. Turkish firm Arcelik has set up a manufacturing plant for home appliances in Gujarat in a joint venture with India’s Voltas in Gujarat some years ago. With the easing of the travel restriction in recent months, there is even more interest among Turkish companies and their Indian counterparts to participate in trade delegation and explore more business opportunities. So, I am optimistic that both the countries can touch USD 20 billion trade volume, as envisaged by Hon’ble Indian Prime Minister,” said Mr. Huseyin Aydin, Commercial Attache, Consulate General of Turkey in Mumbai at an interactive meeting for an in-bound business delegation from Turkey organized by WTC Mumbai. The meeting was organized jointly with All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and Consulate General of Turkey in Mumbai.

Highlighting potential sectors for trade and investment, Mr. Aydin informed, “Both the countries have high trade volume in intermediate goods and raw materials. India exports mineral fuels, machineries, auto parts, plastics, manmade fibres, synthetic filaments etc., while Turkey exports inorganic chemicals, metals, metallic ores, marbles and other construction materials. Fresh fruits and dry fruits are also focus products for export from Turkey. In recent years, demand for Turkish apples is growing in India.”

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Dr. Vijay Kalantri, Chairman, MVIRDC WTC Mumbai pointed out, “Today, Turkey is a major trade partner of India in the Asia Pacific as our bilateral trade crossed the USD 10 billion mark last year and I strongly feel we can reach USD 25 billion trade volume in the next three years. I suggest both the countries to initiate talks for a free trade agreement to attain this target. AIAI and WTC Mumbai will facilitate exchange of trade and business delegations between both the countries to enhance bilateral trade volume. In the past, we have facilitated Indian companies in polyester film and other manufacturing sectors to set up plant in special economic zones of Turkey.”

Suggesting other measures to promote bilateral trade, Dr. Kalantri remarked, “We need to target some focus sectors such as auto-components, textile, home furnishing and others to promote two-way trade. Both the countries can introduce multiple entry visa regime for businessmen to facilitate official visits across our borders. We should also promote more Indian investment in Turkey and Turkish investment in India. Indian pharma and other manufacturing companies can consider Turkey as a gateway to Europe.”

Dr. Kalantri called for the implementation of the mega rail linking project to connect India and Turkey through Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Iran in order to promote transport connectivity. In the tourism sector, there is scope for promoting both the countries as attractive destination for wedding, business conference & exhibitions, adventure, nature, wildlife and medical tourism, Dr. Kalantri added.

The event was organized for the incoming Turkish business delegation led by Foreign Economic Relations Board of Türkiye (DEİK)'s Türkiye-India Business Council. The members of the business delegation represent sectors such as Welding/Valves and related products, Logistics and Warehousing, Engineering Consultant, Electronics waste recycling, Plywood, Hazelnut/Jute, Industrial kitchen and Tourism.

The leader of the delegation Ms. Hulya Gedik, Chairperson, Turkey-India Business Council remarked, “We are one of the 151 councils of DEİK, which is the gateway for Turkish companies to the world market. We are seeing a lot of interest among Turkish companies to do business with India and I am optimistic about future growth of bilateral trade and investment.”

Capt. Somesh Batra, Vice Chairman, MVIRDC WTC Mumbai proposed vote of thanks for the event. He said, “Both the countries may extend visa free arrival facilities for businessmen and tourists to promote two-way commercial relations. Turkish companies can participate in the hybrid Trade Show Connect India 2022, which is an initiative of WTC Mumbai to connect companies to the global market. There is also a need to increase frequency of flight service between both the countries and connect more Indian cities, besides Delhi and Mumbai to Turkey.”

This was followed by a networking session between the members of the visiting Turkish delegation and Indian companies.

The event was attended by members of trade and industry, financial institutions, women entrepreneurs and others.