Singapore and Turkey have reinforced their commitment to deepen and broaden bilateral economic ties at the Turkey-Singapore Business and Investment Forum 2012 on Monday.
The Forum, which was presented by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Turkey’s Ministry of Economy, the Turkish Exporters Assembly and the Istanbul Exporters Association comes on the back of the establishment of IE Singapore’s 36th Overseas Center in Istanbul in May this year.
The event featured key insights on Turkey’s economic progress to date as well as showcased emerging business and investment opportunities for Singapore’s business community to tap.
“As communicated by Mr. S Iswaran, Singapore’s Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Turkey and Singapore are similar in the sense that both are placed at the crossroads of trade activity. Hence, nurturing the economic relationship with Turkey will help open opportunities to the Middle East and Central Asia, and this is not only timely but crucial for Singapore businesses amid a period of slow growth in developed economies,” said Mr. Satish Bakhda, Rikvin’s Head of Operations.
According to data from SBF, Turkey is the world’s leading producer of a variety of goods including agricultural products, auto spare parts, consumer electronics and home appliances, textile and clothing, iron and steel as well as ships and other transportation equipment. Furthermore, the country, lauded by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as one of the fastest growing economies in the world over the next five years, stands at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. This in turn gives it access to over 1.5 billion consumers in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region, on top of Turkey’s domestic market, which is over 70-million strong.
Bilateral trade between Singapore and Turkey has grown by a stellar 79%, registering S$2.21 billion in 2011, up from S$1.2 billion a year prior. To date, there are 500 Turkish citizens residing in Singapore and over 50 Turkish companies that have opted for Singapore Company Registration. Additionally, the Singapore Embassy in Ankara will also be launched later this year.
Following the Forum, both countries have expressed interest to discuss details of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) framework. “In light of this and with the existing air transport connectivity, Turkish enterprises are in good stead to tap Singapore’s position as Asia’s business epicenter and gateway to the region’s emerging markets. Both Turkey and Singapore share a confluence of economic ideals such as sophisticated infrastructure, high-quality workforce, liberal investment climate and extensive network of FTAs. Like Turkey, Singapore too has an attractive corporate tax framework.”
“Altogether, these factors make Turkey and Singapore natural economic partners and this bodes well for the Singapore business community. We anticipate that the number of Turkish enterprises opting for Singapore company formation will grow at a fast clip as both countries work towards the FTA and enhancing bilateral cooperation,” affirmed Mr. Bakhda.