16 April 2014, Wednesday
Today's Zaman

Swedish trade minister Ewa Björling calls on Turkey to cooperate in third countries

15 April 2011, Friday /ERGİN HAVA
Swedish Trade Minister Ewa Björling, who visited İstanbul at the invitation of the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), has said her government is eager to see Swedish companies cooperate with TUSKON members in third countries, underlining that she was impressed by the achievements of Turkish entrepreneurs abroad.

At a dinner meeting organized by TUSKON in İstanbul on Wednesday she said, “The countries need each other.” An industrial zone project in the Gaza Strip, that has experienced dire economic conditions under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade over the past few years, and a similar one in Pakistan, which was recently hit by a number of natural disasters and suffers from the negative impact of conflict between the government forces and terrorist groups, are part of TUSKON’s efforts to maintain peace through increased trade.

Speaking at the meeting on Wednesday, TUSKON President Rızanur Meral also reiterated their commitment to cooperating with Swedish companies in third countries. “We see fewer and fewer European companies in relatively less developed countries, while there are many Turkish companies who have the appetite and energy to engage in new projects in these markets. We can benefit from the potential in growing markets together,” he said. The Swedish minister also said her government hoped Turkey would enter the European Union “very soon,” in which case Sweden would boost trade with it. Turkey has long been trying to enter the 27-nation bloc, but the leadership of a number of EU member states is complicating the process. Other member states, including the UK, Spain, Italy and Sweden, as well as other Scandinavian countries, however, show strong support for Turkish membership. The business delegation that accompanied the minister during the visit represented a group of companies from the transportation, telecommunication and software industries.

Hans Erik Persson, the CEO of Xtranet, a full service provider of fiber optic network systems, told Today’s Zaman that they would like to share their experience with the Turkish market, where they see a strong potential for growth in the industry, underlining that Sweden has a well-established and fast-developing fiber optic infrastructure. “The first telephone line in Turkey was established by Eriksson more than a hundred years ago. We see Turkey as closer to us than you think,” he said. Also in remarks to Today’s Zaman, Hakan Lingnert, the head of corporate banking at the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK), drew attention to the more than 150,000 Turks living in Sweden and their contributions to Turkish-Swedish economic relations. He said the second generation in particular is helping improve bilateral trade between the nations.

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