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Economic relations

Economic relations

Buoyed par the Customs Union between Turkey and the European Union (1996), bilateral trade has, with the exception of Turkey’s crisis in 2001 and the current global crisis, been growing regularly. However, with the global economic slowdown, trade between France and Turkey dropped noticeably in 2009 (close to 19% over the first nine months), while it had increased 17% during the first half of 2008. The automotive, mechanical equipment, electrical, electronic, and IT sectors are affected most. French sales to Turkey fell 23.6%, while Turkey’s sales to France fell only 10%.

Nevertheless, a speedy recovery may be anticipated for the end of the crisis, making it possible to envisage an increase in our trade from 11 billion euros in 2008 to 15 billion euros by 2012, the objective set during Ms. Idrac’s visit to Turkey in November 2008. The Turkish President restated this objective during his visit to Paris in October 2009 on the occasion of a seminar on the Franco-Turkish economic partnership organized by the MEDEF and Tüsiad, and that opened the economic component of the Turkish Season in the presence of the Prime Minister. Ms. Idrac’s visit to Turkey on 24 and 25 February 2010 for the second Joint Franco-Turkish Economic Committee was also an opportunity to reiterate this common objective.

These shared interests are now making it possible to establish partnerships. Accordingly, Secretary of State for Transport Dominique Bussereau’s visit to Ankara in December 2008 was the opportunity to sign a partnership between EADS and Turkish Aerospace Industries. Moreover, Airbus has just won an order for ten airplanes in the framework of a call for tenders launched by Turkish Airlines for the replacement of its fleet.

Finally, France has managed to maintain its position as second-leading investor with total FDI estimated at 5.6 billion dollars at the end of 2008, i.e. 8% of total stocks. Accordingly, the number of establishments moved from 15 in 1985 to approximately 300 today, resulting in more than 70,000 direct jobs. FDI gives France a very discernable presence in the following sectors: the automotive and electrical industries, construction materials, supermarkets, and banking and financial services. The diversification and increase of French investors in Turkey is seen to be continuing with a presence in the gas and renewable energies sectors now.

Updated on 06.04.10

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