THE Turkish Government is keen on exploring business opportunities in Cebu.

Esra Cankorur, the ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the Philippines, met with officers and members of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) last June 7 to explore possible trade relations between Cebu and Turkey. 

Cankorur’s visit, according to the MCCI, was primarily to know more about the culture and the people of Cebu and explore economic partnerships with the business community of Mandaue and Cebu.

The meeting was arranged by Francisco Benedicto, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Philippines from 1986 to 2011 to countries Singapore, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, India and China.

During the meeting, MCCI representatives exchanged information with Cankorur on possible products that can be brought to Cebu from Turkey.

Turkey is the 17th biggest economy in the world.

The trade volume between Turkey and Philippines amounted to $306 million in 2012. In the same year, the Philippines was Turkey’s 99th export partner and 79th import partner.

Turkey’s exports to the Philippines amounted to $148 million, an increase of 47 percent from 2011. The top export products wheat and flour, cereal preparations, tobacco, metal, textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles, medicinal and pharmaceutical products. 

On the other hand, Turkey’s imports from Philippines totaled $158 million in 2012, an increase of 29 percent from 2011.

The top import products were transport equipment, electrical machines, apparatus and appliances, office machinery, automatic data-processing equipment, vegetables and fruit and rubber.

In recent years, the enhanced economic and commercial relations paved the way for the Philippine business circles to increase their interest in the Turkish economy.

Last year, Mandaue Chamber and Malatya Active Businessmen’s Association (Makiad) in Turkey signed a protocol of cooperation to strengthen the economic and trade ties between the Philippines and Turkey.

Under the agreement, the two chambers will take opportunities to expand trade, economic, scientific, and technological cooperation; exchange information about commerce, industry and economy; and assist each other’s members in establishing and strengthening business contact through various events.

The cooperation was signed in Turkey by Makiad president Alper Gurbuz and MCCI’s internal vice-president Carmel De Pio-Salvador. KOC