Despite the fact that the two countries are far from each other, they dealt with the 2008 global financial crisis in similar ways. Both countries were able to overcome the global crisis thanks to their huge domestic demand. Turkey managed to remain relatively unscathed with increased infrastructure investments, including construction. The Turkish construction sector maintained its rank as the world's second largest after China in terms of the number of projects undertaken outside of the country, according to a recent report by Engineering News Record. A stable banking sector also helped Turkey achieve such success.
Indian and Turkish trade relations have improved rapidly over the past decade. Trade volume between Turkey and India was $2.3 billion and $4 billion in 2009 and 2010, respectively. This figure reached $6 billion in 2013, according to the Indian Ministry of Trade and Commerce.
Ersin Karaoğlan, the president of the Turkish Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (TICCI), told Sunday's Zaman that India has a large population, a vast land and a huge market, all of which attract foreign investors to the country. Karaoğlan, who lives in the Indian capital, New Delhi, points out that India is a big player in the construction and textile business. The Indian government has a plan to invest more than $1 trillion in the next five years in infrastructure projects alone. India doesn't have enough highways and roads to connect its metropolitan cities, Karaoğlan added, inviting Turkish construction firms to enter into state bids in India.
Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) President Rızanur Meral told Turkish businessmen at the 83rd İzmir International Fair (IEF) last week that Turkish businessmen can utilize opportunities in India as the world starts to pay attention to that country. Meral added that TUSKON and TICCI have organized several trade trips to and from India. TICCI represents TUSKON in India.
According to the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, bilateral trade between Turkey and India reached $6 billion in 2012-2013. But Meral says the trade deficit is against Turkey, as it only had 20 percent of the total bilateral trade.
TICCI Vice President Mehmet Ali Şeker says the major Indian exports to Turkey are cotton, chemicals, steel, mobile handsets, clothing and apparel. Turkey's exports to India include automotive parts, textile machinery and steel, among a number of food items.
Şeker added that many Indian companies, such as M/s Polyplex, GMR Infrastructure, TATA Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Reliance, Ispat, Aditya Birla Group, Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd., Jain Irrigation, Wipro and Dabur, have either invested directly or established joint ventures (JVs) in Turkey.
Dhanus Technologies, an Indian IT company, concluded an agreement to acquire Borusan Telekom --Turkey's first alternative telecom operator with an “A-type” license in January 2008, with an investment of $77 million. Dabur India Ltd. acquired Hobi Kozmetik, a Turkish personal care products company for approximately $69 million.
According to information on the Indian Embassy's website, Turkish companies in India include Limak Construction, Fernas Construction, Sarar Giyim, Söktaş and Kingspan İzopoli and Hidromas. A consortium formed by Nas Aviation Services India Ltd. and Turkish airport ground services provider Çelebi won tenders to provide ground services for 10 years at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai and Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.
Fernas Construction, a Turkish infrastructure company mainly operating in pipeline sector, has won a contract to lay and commission a segment of the GAIL pipeline in Gujarat state.
The governments of both countries have encouraged increased bilateral trade visits with separate trips over the past six years. During a visit of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to India in November 2008, the India-Turkey Business Forum was jointly organized by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) in New Delhi. During a visit of then-President Abdullah Gül to India in February 2010, FICCI and TOBB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation. A bilateral MoU between the National Small Industries Corporation of India and the Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB) was signed during a visit of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to Turkey in October 2013.
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