Istanbul Chamber of Industry Organized Australia Country Day Event

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Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) organized an event titled the Australia Country Day, aiming at the evaluation of the mutual investment and cooperation opportunities between the two countries. The Ambassador of Australia in Ankara, Mr. Marc Innes-Brown also participated in this event which took place via video conferencing with the hosting of Mr Vehbi Canpolat, member of the ISO board. Many businesspeople and industrialists wishing to evaluate the business and investment possibilities in Australia participated in the event. 

Vehbi Canpolat, the board member of ISO made a speech at the opening of the event and said that the relations between Turkey and Australia are based on strong historical ties between the two nations. In this context, he added that the activities called Anzac Day and organized in Çanakkale with the participation of Turkish and Australian people reinforce the relations between the two nations. He continued his statement as follows: “The trade volume between the two countries is approximately $1.1 billion with exports of $726 million from Turkey to Australia and imports of $407 million from that country to Turkey. When we have a look at the investment relations between the two countries during the 2002-2020 period, we see that Australian companies invested $700 million in Turkey as compared to Turkish investments of $30 million in Australia during the same period. The figures above are quite below the true potential of the two countries and the strong relations between them must be reflected at the economic level.

“Australia has achieved an uninterrupted economic growth during the last 28 years and consequently became the 14th biggest economy all over the world and the 5th biggest economy in Asia. It is also a member of the regional comprehensive economic partnership treaty signed in November 2020 and covering a population of 2.2 billion and an economic capacity of $26 trillion. Despite the negative factors like the geographical distance between the two countries and the relatively small population of Australia, Australia with its developed economy and high living standards and imports reaching $203 billion in 2020 is not a market to be ignored by Turkey which aims at diversifying its markets. The demand and consumption tendency created by the annual per capita income of over $60,000 and the fact that the industrial products has a share of 2/3 in the imports of the country are the primary factors making the Australian market attractive. " 

Mr. Canpolat also mentioned that e-Commerce is quite widespread in this country and that electronic, machinery, automotive industry sub industry, textile, readymade garment, shoemaking, construction material and food sectors offer a potential market for the Turkish exporters. “If we consider that the geographical distance is no more a disadvantage today, our industrialists have important responsibilities in terms of the development of strategies directly targeting the Australian Market which has a big potential due to its big purchasing power and an eminent strategic position in the Asian-Pacific region and boosting the bilateral trade between the two countries". 

Mr. Canpolat’s speech was followed by the speech of Mr. Marc Innes Brown, the Ambassador of Australia in Ankara, at the opening of the event. Mr. Brown stated that the potential of the mutual business opportunities between the two countries are not well-known and consequently they made their best efforts to even further develop the economic relations between them. “There is a geographical distance between the two countries, but there is also a big potential to increase the trade volume between them” said Mr. Brown. “We can cooperate in the areas of infrastructural investments, mining, education, agriculture, digital technology. Turkey as a country exporting contracting services must evaluate the potential of Australia in this field. There are also the opportunities of joint investments in the third countries, particularly the countries in the region and African countries.” Mr. Brown also pointed out the interest of Turkish students in Australia and the joint studies carried out by the universities in both countries. 

The speeches were followed by a panel titled ‘Trade Cooperation and Investment Opportunities in Australia’. During the panel, Selçuk Bozok, Commercial Attache in Sydney, and Tayfun Kılıç, Commercial Attache in Melbourne, made detailed presentations about Australian economy. The Commercial Attache in Sydney, Mr. Bozok said that Australian economy ranks among the first 20 economies in the world with its volume of $1.36 trillion. “Mining is the biggest sector in the country and has a share of 10.3% in the national economy” said Bozok. “150,000 Turks live within a total population of 25.7 million. The country owns the biggest gold and iron reserves in the world and has recorded an uninterrupted growth since 1992 but shrunk 2.4% due to the impact of pandemic in 2020. China and Japan account for 40% and 12% of the exports of Australia, respectively, while China, USA and Japan account for 29%, 11.7% and 6%, respectively, of its imports.”

The Commercial Attache in Melbourne, Tayfun Kılınç gave information about the sectors with a business potential between the two countries and the areas of cooperation, pointing out Australia’s big potential, particularly in the sectors such as the iron & steel construction, cleaning products, air conditioning devices. He stated that the foreign investments in Australia amount to 800 billion dollars and that the country has an investment of 700 million dollars in Turkey. 

After the speeches a panel was organized with the title of “The Experiences of the Turkish companies Doing Business in Australia” under the moderatorship of Mr. Mehmet Akif Meral, Assistant Manager, EU and International Relations Branch of ISO. During the panel Mustafa Mertcan, President of the DEİK Turkish and Australian Business Council, Müren Güler, the founding partner of Venn Energy and Mr. İbrahin Şahin, General Manager of Sleep Craft, shared their experiences in the Australian market with the audience and answered their questions.