Over 300 Trade Meetings with Nearly 100 Spanish Companies
Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), the only umbrella organization of more than 100,000 exporters, continues to deliver Turkish exporters around the world with its delegations. Many Turkish exporters from 13 sectors who participated in the Barcelona Trade Delegation organized by the Ministry of Commerce and under the organization of TİM held more than 300 roundtables and B2B business meetings with nearly 100 Spanish companies.
TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said, “Spain is a country that we attach special importance to in our bilateral trade relations. Türkiye's export to Spain has more than doubled in the last 7 years. In 2021, Spain became our sixth-largest export market, with our export increasing to $9.7 billion with an increase of 44 percent. Our export to Spain continues strongly in 2022. In the first two months, our export increased by 12 percent to $1.5 billion. I hope that our trade volume will approach 20 billion dollars.”
Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), the only umbrella organization of more than 100,000 exporters with 61 Exporters Association and 27 sectors, continues to deliver Turkish exporters around the world with its delegations. Under the coordination of the Ministry of Commerce, nearly 50 Turkish companies from 13 sectors in the Barcelona Trade Delegation organized by the Turkish Exporters Assembly in Barcelona, Spain held more than 300 roundtables and B2B business meetings with nearly 100 Spanish companies.
The opening program of the Barcelona Trade Delegation, headed by TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle, was attended by Selen Evcit, Consul General of the Republic of Türkiye in Barcelona, Ernest Quingles, Vice President of Foment del Treball, Joan Felip, Member of the Board of Directors of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, and nearly 100 Spanish Companies, including representatives of 50 companies from 13 sectors.
TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle, who delivered the keynote speech at the Barcelona Trade Delegation program, expressed great satisfaction to continue their trade diplomacy activities in Barcelona, the brand city of the Western Mediterranean, with 50 representatives from 13 sectors as the Turkish Exporters Assembly.
“We are the people who build bridges of peace all over the world through our commercial diplomacy activities”
Stating that trade is one of the most basic needs of social life, which does not accept interruptions during the war and peace period, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said that the deterioration in trade causes expensiveness and poverty, and the deterioration in production causes shortage and scarcity. TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle continued: “Commercial factors, which are necessary for the maintenance of social life, not only prevent war in peacetime but also determine the process leading to peace in wartime. Montesquieu, one of the masterminds of today's democratic system of government, 'peace is a natural result of international trade.' he said. Unfortunately, we are living in a period of conflict with security priorities preferred. In the war between Russia and Ukraine, the process towards peace began thanks to commercial requirements. The Foreign Ministers of the two countries met in Antalya with Türkiye's mediation initiatives in order to end this war as soon as possible. We hope that this tragedy in our near geography will end as soon as possible.”
TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said that they have learned lessons from the experiences of the world's countries today, and said, “Traders are not actors who only work for the future of their businesses and have no other purpose than maximizing their income. As traders, we are the people who build bridges of peace all over the world through our commercial diplomacy activities. In this respect, I believe that today's trade meeting is extremely important.”
“We have demonstrated our determination with our 110 trade delegations in 73 countries”
Emphasizing that, as the Turkish Exporters Assembly, trade delegations are at the center of commercial diplomacy activities, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle stated that they continue their work continuously by moving their commercial delegations to virtual platforms, despite the world's shutdown during the pandemic period. “With the 110 trade delegations we have carried out in 73 countries since the beginning of the epidemic period, we have shown how determined we are to strengthen our bilateral trade relations despite the pandemic. Among these delegations in Spain we carried out is the Textile and Apparel Digital Sectoral Trade Delegation. Spain is a country that we attach special importance to in our bilateral trade relations. We are pleased to see that our initiatives have positive results.”
“Türkiye and Spain have strong diplomatic and economic relations”
Defining the Mediterranean as the cradle of civilizations that shape world history and the birthplace of international trade, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said, “The countries that have a coast on the Mediterranean also have common natural cultural codes as people of the same sea. As countries located at both ends of the Mediterranean basin, a legacy of world history, Türkiye and Spain have strong diplomatic and economic relations as well as cultural similarities. Our diplomatic relations with Spain, established in 1783, have come to this day on the principle of friendship. Our economic relations are the engine of these long-established diplomatic relations today.”
Türkiye's export to Spain continued to increase in 2022
Stating that Spain is among the world's largest economies with a national income of $1.4 trillion and that its economy grew by 5% in 2021, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle informed that Türkiye's export to Spain increased by 44% to $9.7 billion in 2021 and Spain ranked sixth in the ranking of the countries with the most exports of Türkiye. “Our export to Spain has more than doubled in the last 7 years. During the same period, Spain exported $6.3 billion to Türkiye, with an increase of 25 percent, making it the tenth-largest importer of our country. Our export to Spain continues strongly in 2022. In the first two months, our export increased by 12 percent to $1.5 billion.”
The most exports on a sectoral basis were in the Ready-to-Wear and Apparel sector
TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle, who listed the sectors with the highest export in Türkiye's export to Spain on a sectoral basis, said that the ready-to-wear and apparel sector, with 2.7 billion dollars in export, was the first; the automotive sector, with 1.6 billion dollars in export, was second; and that the steel sector, with 1.5 billion dollars in export, was the third.
TİM Chairman Gülle, “We can export more to Spain, which imports $418 billion annually. In addition to these sectors, we also have very important sectors where we can increase our exports even more. When we look at the sectors with the lowest ratio of export to potential export, outstanding sectors are furniture, paper and forest products with 24 percent, dried fruits and products with 25 percent, home textiles with 38 percent, and chemical sector with 39 percent. There are our representatives on our delegation from all these sectors. I hope that these opportunities will become a reality with the meetings to be held within the scope of the delegation.”
“Türkiye promises lucrative trade partnerships”
Stating that Türkiye has achieved an export performance exceeding 225 billion dollars in 2021 with its wide product range, high capacity product volume in many sectors and dynamic exporters who make good use of the advantages brought by its geographical location, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said, “Our target this year reaches 250 billion dollars in export. At a time when global supply chains were disrupted, Turkish exporters continued to provide goods and services. Our country has come to the fore as a reliable port in global trade. With these features, Türkiye promises lucrative commercial partnerships to all its partners. I believe that our Barcelona Trade Delegation, which we have opened, will contribute greatly to the export of our sectors in the region.”
Barcelona Consul General Selen Evcit: This delegation is very important for Spain-Türkiye trade relations in the new period
Speaking at the opening of the Barcelona Trade Delegation, T.C. Consul General in Barcelona Selen Evcit said that they were very pleased to be physically carrying out the trade delegation after a long time with Spain, Türkiye's important trading partner.
Selen Evcit, T.C. Consul General in Barcelona, said, “As you know, we have been through a very difficult time. We lost a lot of people because of the Covid. The most important of these losses is of course the losses in human life, but in the process, we also faced great economic difficulties. With the effects of the pandemic easing, now is the time to focus on the future again. Today's event presents us with an important opportunity to address the projects that can be implemented in the near term between the two countries, as well as the opportunities for joint trade and investment. In this context, I consider that this delegation, which is physically carried out from Türkiye, is very important for Spain-Türkiye trade relations in the new period.”
Stating that the problems in global supply chains, the sudden disappearance of production security and diversity, and the changes in logistics operations have led many European countries to turn to new searches, Selen Evcit, T.C. Consul General in Barcelona, said, “In this sense, Türkiye was the best answer to the companies' search for new production points. With its strong production infrastructure, membership in the Customs Union, trained human resources, capacity to produce practical and fast solutions, and especially its position that significantly reduces logistics costs and durations, Türkiye has the potential to become an important production center for Spanish companies in the new period.”
Selen Evcit, T.C. Consul General in Barcelona, continued: “In this context, I hope that the trade volume of 16 billion dollars between the two countries in 2021 will quickly increase to the $20 billion targeted at the Intergovernmental Summit in Ankara last November. I consider that there are significant cooperation potentials between Turkish and Spanish companies in many different fields, from automotive to iron and steel products, electronics to furniture, textiles to food products. Now is the time to strengthen the trade bridges between the two important countries on these two separate sides of Europe. There are tremendous opportunities in this sense in front of our business people.”
Selen Evcit also said, “I would like to thank all the Spanish and Turkish stakeholders who contributed to the organization of this delegation. I hope that delegations from Spain to Türkiye will be held after this delegation, and I believe that the talks to be held there will contribute to the trade between the two countries. In addition, I would like to underline that we are ready to provide all kinds of support as our Consulate and Trade Attaché to all steps taken by our private sector in commercial matters. We provide services for our Turkish companies to contact Spanish buyers and we meet the demands of Spanish companies to find producers from Türkiye. We are working to bring business people from the two countries together, to create opportunities for cooperation and to facilitate all these processes.”
Ernest Quingles, Vice President of Foment del Treball: With its economic success, Türkiye will have the opportunity to play a much more important role in the world after the pandemic
Another speaker of the meeting, Foment del Treball Vice President Ernest Quingles, said that since 1771, they were very happy to host the Turkish business delegation at the “Roundtable and B2B Meetings” event on behalf of Foment del Treball, an institution that has represented Catalan entrepreneurs and industry.
Ernest Quingles, Vice President of Foment del Treball, noted that the pandemic, especially the Omicron variant, and the consequent restrictions on economic activity caused a sharp decline in external and domestic demand while restricting supply. Ernest Quingles also said: “In recent weeks, we have witnessed how the war in Ukraine has significantly increased the prices of gas, electricity, and other raw materials. That is why, at Foment del Treball, we demand concrete measures from regional, national and European authorities to support families and the most affected economic sectors. Türkiye maintains good relations with Russia and Ukraine. Türkiye has emerged as a mediator that we hope, that it will take result, in a short time in this war period.”
Ernest Quingles, Vice President of Foment del Treball, continued: “Today, I would like to underline that the innovation agenda in Türkiye is becoming more important than ever and that the Turkish government is trying to support and promote economic growth. Catalonia and Spain see Türkiye as an important trade and economic partner. Türkiye is a stable and reliable trading partner for the EU in the economic sphere. As Foment del Treball, we consider Türkiye's strategic position and its strong influence on the Eurasian continent very important. In addition, we also consider Türkiye as a factor in the change in the world. Türkiye and its people show their desire to contribute to the growth and the global economic recovery every day. As we have already seen, with its success in the economic field, Türkiye will have the opportunity to play a much more important role in the world after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. Proximity to the EU market, high labor capacity, and strong operators will provide significant advantages to Türkiye.
Factors such as geographical diversity, the rise in protectionism, Brexit, or the shortening of global value chains are just a few of the challenges Catalan companies will have to face. In this sense, Türkiye is a strategic partner in the Mediterranean. Especially during this period, many materials have become strategic resources in the European Union. Türkiye's geopolitical position amid abundant resources ensures that the country has a competitive advantage in various European interests.
This is why relations between Catalonia, Spain, and Türkiye have increased in recent years. Doing business in Türkiye is becoming easier, more valuable, and more strategic. And I hope that after this event, many Catalan companies will import, export and invest more in Türkiye, especially in innovation sectors such as machinery, textile sector, efficient infrastructure, biotechnology, electronics, Industry 4.0, AI, Internet of Things (IoT) for the energy, agricultural sector.
Joan Felip, Member of the Board of Directors of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce: Modernization of the Customs Union with Türkiye can also contribute to the Spanish economy
Joan Felip, a member of the Board of Directors of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, stated that the importance of improving their alliances in the Mediterranean has gradually increased at a time marked by the pandemic, logistical problems, rising prices, and most recently the war, and said that Türkiye and Spain can achieve great things together and overcome future adversities together.
Joan Felip also said, “Turkish-Spanish relations are mostly shaped by NATO and the EU within the framework of trade, security, and defense cooperation. Both countries are members of the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the World Trade Organization because they are highly integrated into the multilateral institutional structure of the West. In addition, both countries are part of the Union Organization for the Mediterranean, headquartered in Barcelona. Türkiye and Spain also share historical similarities as two ancient empires at both ends of the Mediterranean. Recently, Spanish investments in Türkiye have intensified and reached important sectors of the Turkish economy, such as the banking sector. Therefore, the modernization of the Customs Union (GB) with Türkiye can also contribute to the Spanish economy.”