Under the coordination of Ministry of Trade and with the organization of Türkiye Exporters Assembly and İstanbul Exporters' Association , a trade delegation to Panama and Costa Rica was organized between the dates of 9 – 15 April 2023.During the organization in which many Turkish firms operating in multiple sectors participated , Turkish firm representatives made around 100 bilateral business meetings in Panama whereas more than 120 bilateral business meetings were carried out on the second stop of the program, Costa Rica.
Türkiye Exporters Assembly ( TİM ) , within the scope of ''Far-away Countries Strategy '' set forward by Ministry of Trade , continues to hold organizations directed towards 18 overseas countries that make up 64 percent of the global economy. Türkiye Exporters Assembly ( TİM ) , within this framework , coorganized trade delegations to Panama and Costa Rica with İstanbul Exporters' Association ( İİB ) under the coordination of Ministry of Trade. Delegation was led by the presidency of TİM Deputy Chairman Ahmet Güleç.İİB Furniture, Paper and Forestry Products Exporters Chairman Erkan Özkan , and İİB Acting Secretary General of Istanbul Exporters Association Doğuş Tozanlı also participated in the delegation along with firm representatives from textile , furniture , chemical products , marble , insurance services and tourism sectors.
Turkish exporters on the delegation made several official visits on the first stop of the program, Panama City. Throughout that time, Export and Investment Promotion Authority of Panama (PROPANAMA), Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (PANACAMARA), Panama National Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP), Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) were the institutions that delegation members officially got in touch with. During the opening ceremony of Türkiye-Panama Trade Delegation Program, acting in the capacity of delegation president, TİM Deputy Chairman Ahmet Güleç addressed the participants with a speech. Following speeches were made by Republic of Türkiye Panama Commercial Counselor Halise Büşra Ünsal and Republic of Türkiye Panama Ambassador Lebibe Gülhan Ulutekin. Panama Ministry of Trade Foreign Investment Department Director Hardeep Bhullar made an informative presentation to participant firms during the ceremony as well.
Exports to Panama at all-time high
While addressing the participants in the ceremony, TİM Deputy Chairman Ahmet Güleç pointed out that Panama is seen as an important partner by Türkiye , stating that both parties have a strong willingness to make bilateral trade despite the distance between those two countries.
Stressing that there is a high potential for trade volume between Türkiye and Panama, Güleç followed his speech as such:
''We made great headway in 2022.Last year Türkiye made a record in its exports to Panama, surpassing 360 million dollars. Meanwhile, Panama's exports to Türkiye reached 34 million dollars by an increase of 86 percent. These numbers indicate that we have reached a historic high point in bilateral trade volume. Steel, jewelry and cereals sectors stood out as three leading sectors in our exports to Panama. In the first quarter of 2023, our exports to Panama increased by 37 percent. These numbers manifest growing hopes for the future of our bilateral relations.''
Afterwards of the opening speeches, the program carried on by bilateral business meetings.16 Turkish firms made more than 100 B2B meetings with 42 Panamanian firms throughout the day.
More than 120 B2B meetings in Costa Rica
After finalizing their business negotiations in Panama, delegation members made their way to capital of Costa Rica , San Jose. Speaking in the opening ceremony of the event, TİM Deputy Chairman Ahmet Güleç said that in last two years there was good progress made in trade volume between both countries, further stating that Türkiye's exports to Costa Rica in 2022 went above 102 million dollars mark which resulted in a new record. After adding that Costa Rica's exports to Türkiye followed a stabilized path in the last decade, Güleç said '' Top three sectors in our exports to Costa Rica in 2022 was steel, chemical products and machinery sectors. In the first of quarter of 2023, our exports increased by 25 percent to Costa Rica. We hope that our delegation will further contribute to this increasing momentum.
During the organization in San Jose in which 56 Costa Rican firms took part, 124 bilateral business meetings were carried out between representatives of firms from two countries. After the meetings, Turkish delegation finish the program by making official visits to Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica , Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce and Costa Rican Chamber of Importers and Representatives of Foreign Houses. ( CRECEX )