To regain the momentum lost in the last years of the Turkey and Germany relations, TUSIAD Germany Network has prepared a strategic action plan. In this direction, a TUSIAD delegation headed by Mr. Simone KASLOWSKI, Vice President of TUSIAD Board of Directors paid a visit to Berlin. The delegation attended a roundtable meeting on “Current Issues in German-Turkish Business Relations” co-organized with and hosted by its German counterpart BDI (Federation of German Industries) with the participation of representatives from German business world.
Cooperation on Industry 4.0
TUSIAD and BDI focused on Industry 4.0 and digital transformation topics as part of a positive agenda between the two countries. In this context, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by Secretary Generals of BDI and TUSIAD, Dr. Joachim Lang and Dr. Bahadır Kaleağası respectively, to enhance cooperation in the areas related to Industry 4.0. The following four areas of cooperation are foreseen:
- Consultations regarding digital transformation policies of the respective industries between Turkish and German private sectors,
- Facilitation of sharing of best practices between companies,
- Support of interaction among different societal stakeholders in this field,
- Dialogue on international developments with respect to Industry 4.0 and digital transformation of industries.
EU-Turkey Customs Union Modernization
Views were exchanged during the roundtable discussion chaired by TUSIAD Germany Network President Mr. Hüseyin Gelis on the modernization process of the EU-Turkey Customs Union, as one the major agenda items towards deepening of bilateral economic relations. Both TUSIAD and BDI supported the idea that such a modernization would be mutually beneficial for both countries’ business world. This has also been confirmed by various impact analysis reports prepared by the World Bank and Turkey’s Ministry of Economy. Accordingly, the importance of an apt revitalization of this process was underlined without being disrupted by some political developments.
It is worth noting that BusinessEurope, the EU’s umbrella organization for business, to which both TUSIAD and BDI are members, has also renewed its support for the modernization of the EU-Turkey Customs Union in its recently published position paper entitled “The way forward: the business vision for the future of the European Union”. In the paper BusinessEurope recommended the continuation of Turkey’s EU accession by adhering to the conditionality principle as well as by focusing on the Customs Union modernization aspect.
Further Areas of Cooperation between TUSIAD and BDI
In the roundtable discussion attended among other participants, by Solmaz Group Coordinator Ms. Billur Barlın, Eczacıbaşı Holding CEO Mr. Atalay Gümrah, Amarkon Board Member Dr. Markus C. Slevogt and President of Bosch Turkey and Middle East Mr. Steven Young, a consensus was reached on the following further areas of cooperation:
- Cooperation in the framework of “One Belt One Road” project of China,
- Elaboration of cooperation possibilities in the African continent, especially on investments,
- Exchange of information regarding daily operation of the Customs Union,
- Suggestion of digital economy topic as top priority issue at the Global Business Coalition framework, to which both TUSIAD and BDI are founding members.
For the continuation of this significant dialogue, next meeting is foreseen for the first half of 2018 in Istanbul to be hosted by TUSIAD.
Meeting with the State Secretary of the Germany’s Federal Foreign Office Mr. Walter J. Lindner
The delegation met on the very same day with State Secretary of the Germany’s Federal Foreign Office Mr. Walter J. Lindner for an exchange on the current agenda of EU-Turkey relations.