Exporters Talking Turkey in Istanbul

9th April 2013

Bi-lateral trade between Turkey and Ireland is projected to grow by over 300%  in the next ten years, stated  the Irish Exporters Association as it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Turkish Exporters Assembly today (Tuesday, 9 April, 2013) in Istanbul.

Mr John Whelan, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association said that he believed that the MoU would pave the way to the expansion and development of business opportunities for Irish companies in Turkey and will encourage many mutually beneficial business ventures in the future. In particular, the M.O.U. is focused on achieving:

  • An increase in bi-lateral trade between Ireland and Turkey from €1.3 billion in 2012 to €3.5 billion in the decade to 2023. This links into the Turkish Exporters Assembly “Strategy 2023’’ and the Turkish national strategy document to double exports by 2023.
  • An increase in Irish exports of goods and services to Turkey from €803 million in 2012 to €2 .0 Billion by 2023.

The signing of the MoU was done in the presence of Mr Eamon Gilmore, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, who is leading the Irish Trade Mission to Turkey, and said on the occasion:

“The IEA has been active in supporting its members to expand their exports into new and existing markets for over 60 years now and I would like to congratulate them for the great work they have done down through the years in support of the Irish export industry.

Today’s milestone signing is a direct consequence of the fast- growing interest among Irish companies in deepening their engagement with Turkey, across a wide range of sectors including ICT & telecoms, financial services, engineering, CleanTech, life sciences and medical technologies. I hope that this MoU, which brings these two important trade organisations together, will also serve to develop business opportunities for both Turkish and Irish companies to the benefit of both of our countries.

Mr. Whelan told the assembled audience in Istanbul that the Turkish economy was the envy of many economies in the Eurozone having survived the worse effects of the worldwide economic crisis.  He noted that much of Turkey’s economic success has come about as a consequence of a carefully designed, sound macro-economic strategy along with timely and decisive implementation of fiscal policies and structural reforms.  Illustrating the vibrancy of Turkey’s exporter sector  Mr. Whelan went on to say  “Ireland has proved to be a good market for Turkish exporters who increased exports  to Ireland  by over 300% in the past ten years to reach over half a billion euro’s in goods and services  last year ”.  He added that during that same period of time Ireland’s exports to Turkey have grown faster than our exports to the major BRICS economies of India and Russia.

John Whelan commented that trade growth needs supporting structures for the easy and competitive movement of goods and passengers, saying

“The  direct access  between Dublin and Istanbul   provided by Turkish airlines, has accelerated the trade development between Ireland and Turkey , and will be a key supporting factor in trade growth over the coming years.”

The services sector, according to the Irish Exporters Association, is an area where much of the additional growth will come.  “As of 2011, Turkey stood as the 17th largest commercial services exporter in the world with an export value of 38 billion US Dollars, whereas Ireland was ranked 9th largest with exports of 118 billion US dollars,” said Mr. Whelan.  Turkey’s exports in services are mainly concentrated in the area of tourism, transportation and construction services while Ireland’s services exports are mainly focused on software, engineering services, aviation leasing and other business and financial services.  Many knowledge intensive service activities, especially in the area of business and professional services, have become easily exchangeable across country boundaries, greatly increasing opportunities for international trade in services.

Mr. Whelan said “Businesses in both Turkey and Ireland are well aware that globalization of the production process and ensuing specialization within global supply chains have become underlying factors for increased trade in service.  Nowadays, in order to remain competitive and to reduce the cost of production, many firms specialize in their core competencies and tend to outsource supporting activities.  In fact, it is estimated that 73% of world services imports are used as inputs in the production process. This, I believe, is one of the many areas of potential services collaboration between Turkey and Ireland.”

Mr Whelan concluded his remarks in Istanbul saying “At the Irish Exporters Association we are confident that our participation in this current trade mission, and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding coupled with the supportive work of Enterprise Ireland,  the department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the embassy in Turkey, will go a long way toward expanding and developing Irish business opportunities in Turkey and will encourage many mutually beneficial business ventures in the future.”


For further information, please contact:

Ashley Beston
email: AshleyBeston@irishexporters.ie  
Tel. 01 6612182

John Whelan
email: JohnWhelan@irishexporters.ie   
Tel. 087 9271243