The Istanbul Economic Summit, Turkey’s most important partner in Germany, was organized in Germany this year and moved to an international arena.
On September 29th, the Istanbul Economic Summit, with the theme of “Investment Opportunities in Turkey for European Companies,” took place for the first time in Berlin under the patronage of the Turkish Republic Berlin Embassy and with the opening speeches of Ambassador Ahmet Başar Şen, the Turkish Ambassador to Berlin, and Abdullah Değer, the Chairman of the Istanbul Economic Summit Executive Committee.
This summit, which has been held in Turkey for the past six years and is now in its seventh year, brought together 300 representatives from the German and Turkish business and political worlds, resulting in significant collaborations. Focusing on Turkey’s attractive investment environment, the summit provided a platform for participants to exchange knowledge, discuss new trends, and establish connections.
Through various panels and B2B meetings, the summit highlighted a wide range of opportunities in Turkey, spanning from renewable energy, tourism, automotive, textiles, technology, manufacturing, to finance. Each panel at the summit focused on a different aspect of the economy, offering valuable insights and perspectives on sustainable development, digital transformation, innovation, emerging markets, health, automotive, tourism, food, international trade, and sustainable living.
Ambassador Ahmet Başar Şen of Turkey in Berlin noted that the Turkish population in Germany has transitioned from being primarily laborers to becoming successful entrepreneurs over the past decade. He emphasized that investments made by the Turkish population in Germany have significantly contributed to the economic and trade relations between the two countries, in addition to Germany’s investments in Turkey.
Under the patronage of the Turkish Embassy in Berlin and in collaboration with the Turkish-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TD-IHK), the Istanbul Economic Summit in Berlin discussed “Investment Opportunities in Turkey for European Companies.” Ambassador Şen highlighted the strong economic relations between Turkey and Germany, with Germany being Turkey’s top export partner and the third-largest source of imports. He also mentioned that recently, companies have been increasingly considering “friendshoring” and “nearshoring” options, and Turkey’s ability to respond quickly to changes in the global economy and offer shorter delivery times has led to new collaboration opportunities with Germany.
Şen, who emphasized Turkey’s contribution to European security, also stated that Turkey has been a part of Europe for centuries. Şen said, ‘We are one of the most important partners of the EU. We aim for EU membership, and we are pursuing it.’ Emphasizing the necessity of updating the Customs Union between Turkey and the EU to further strengthen economic relations between them, Şen said, ‘The current agreement no longer meets the needs of today’s world. Updating the agreement will be mutually beneficial and will contribute to economic integration between Turkey and the EU.’
“Ahmet Başar Şen pointed out that visa restrictions for Turkish citizens have hindered relations between Germany and Turkey, saying, ‘Visa issues have become obstacles for business people to attend fairs and conferences. Turkish entrepreneurs should be able to enter the EU without hindrance to establish and maintain business connections. We expect facilitation in visa liberalization.’ Şen emphasized that the Turkish-origin population in Germany has achieved great successes in the last 10 years, not only through German investments in Turkey but also through investments made by the Turkish population in Germany, becoming a significant contributor to our economic and trade relations.
“Şen highlighted that there are important pillars for looking favorably at economic relations between Germany and Turkey, including the settled Turkish community in Germany. Şen emphasized that Germany has always played a decisive role in relations between Turkey and the EU and said, ‘This is still the case today. Germany must continue its constructive role in developing economic relations between Turkey and the EU.’ Şen also stressed that Turkey places great importance on the development of renewable energy sources, saying, ‘Turkey’s versatile structure, which foresees diversification of supply routes and sources, offers Turkey the opportunity to position itself as an energy hub. These efforts have made Turkey a leading player in global energy projects. I hope today’s meeting opens new avenues for our bilateral trade and economic relations.’
“Thomas Bareiss, former Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany and a Member of the Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU), also emphasized the need for new momentum to elevate relations between Germany and Turkey to the next level, saying that there are new opportunities in Europe to strengthen Turkish-German friendship.
“Abdullah Değer, President of the Executive Board of the Istanbul Economic Summit, noted that the Istanbul Economic Summit has been held in Turkey for 7 years, but this is the first time it has been held abroad. Değer explained that the summit took place in Berlin due to Germany being Turkey’s largest trading partner, and he emphasized their goal of advancing Turkish-German business partnership.
“The summit serves as an important platform to enhance economic cooperation and explore the potential for collaboration between Turkish and European businesses. Istanbul, with its vibrant economy and strategic location, offers numerous investment opportunities across various sectors.
“For a long time, Turkey has been considered a gateway between the East and the West, playing a bridging role in trade. With its dynamic market, young and skilled workforce, and robust infrastructure, it provides an attractive destination for international investors seeking growth and expansion.
“Bülent Özcan, Director General for Financial Cooperation and Project Implementation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs EU Presidency, stated, ‘Today, we are holding the Istanbul Economic Summit meeting in Berlin. Berlin is an important city for trade. It is significant that the summit is taking place here. We discussed the European Green Deal and its sustainability dimension, as well as Turkey’s trade with Germany.’
“The T.C. Presidency Investment Office, Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA), KOSGEB, Koluman Otomotiv Industry Inc., Tellioğlu Group, DBE Holding, Özerler Holding, and Titanic Hotel Berlin are the main supporting organizations for the summit.
“This year, the summit will take place in Istanbul on December 8-9 for the 7th time, with the main theme being ‘Sustainable Living and Smart Cities.’
“Istanbul Golden Values Awards Winners Found”
In the summit attended by high-level individuals from Germany and Turkey, innovative individuals and institutions that interpreted and implemented their fields of activity in the best way to provide added value were crowned with the Istanbul Golden Values Award.
The individuals and institutions awarded at the Istanbul Golden Values Awards Ceremony are:
T.C. Ambassador to Berlin, T.C. Presidency Investment Office, BVMW (The German Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses), TD-IHK, (TGA) Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency, (DRV) German Travel Association, Titanic Hotel Berlin, Koluman Automotive Industry Inc., SunExpress, Getir Germany, DBE Holding.