Ugur Yilmaz: ‘The trade turnover between Tatarstan and Turkey has exceeded $2 billion in nine months’
“Welcome news — turnover over $2 billion”
Tatarstan is making Russian-Turkish relations more integral, Turkish Consul General in Kazan Ugul Yilmaz said on 22 December during a meeting with journalists. In recent years, cooperation between the states has received a new impetus, thanks to which the Turkish side's relations with our republic are actively developing.
“We are uniting around a single idea to understand a common future in terms of trade and investment, there is great potential in this. Our foreign trade turnover increased from $1 billion to $2 billion last year, which is a serious increase, and this year, by the end of nine months, it has already exceeded $2 billion. This is pleasant and encouraging news! We will work together and try to make these figures grow even more next year," the Consul General stated.
According to him, the Tatarstan Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Investment Development Agency of the Republic of Tatarstan are actively working with the consulate. On Wednesday, Tatarstan Minister of Industry and Trade Oleg Korobchenko met with Turkish investors who opened 10 factories in the republic. In the coming years, other projects with the participation of Turkish businesses are planned to be launched in Tatarstan, Mr. Ugur Yilmaz answered the question of Realnoe Vremya. He refrained from details, but named the areas of activity in which these projects may appear:
“There are new areas for cooperation. For example, Islamic finance and Islamic banking as one of the potential issues that we are going to work on. The same thing — IT and artificial intelligence or aircraft and shipbuilding — we are currently studying all these topics. The Volga flows into the Caspian Sea, there are large ports here, and Kazakhstan is an important trade and postal line nearby. Therefore, I think that we have great prospects in the field of shipbuilding, and we will look at it together. Of course, we will continue to work within the framework of previous areas of cooperation, but we also need to find new ones.”
One third of all Turkish investments in Russia are in Tatarstan
Ugur Yilmaz highlighted the activity of his colleagues in the republic: “Tatarstan has a great team, very open and sincere, and this makes our work easier.” During his stay in Kazan, he managed to visit a number of sites, inspect the Bashir Rameev IT Park and plans a trip to Innopolis. According to him, there are also many technoparks in Turkey, but not on this scale. Recently, he has attended an event on the topic of artificial intelligence with the participation of the rais of the republic and was very impressed:
“We saw and understood how much Tatarstan has advanced. Why are we interested in this? Because this is also a potential for bilateral cooperation. We are looking and observing where else we can work together academically, scientifically and in matters of business cooperation. A Big Data centre has begun to be built in Kazan — this shows how much attention Tatarstan pays to this topic. I hope that we will have the opportunity to invite companies from Turkey.”
Besides Tatarstan, the consular district under the leadership of Ugur Yilmaz also includes Bashkortostan, Mari El, Mordovia, Chuvashia, and Samara Oblast. After the meeting with the leadership of our republic, he visited Ufa as part of the International Business Week, where he spoke at a panel discussion and met with the leadership of the republic.
“Ufa also looked at what opportunities we have for cooperation, since we are interested in developing relations with Turkey. Our trade turnover with this region has grown to $286 million. Certainly, it cannot be compared with Tatarstan, but still. We have signed an agreement on the establishment of a joint production of Turkish-Bashkir cranes. Bashkortostan has a factory in Gebze that produces car seats. But they do not have the same large production facilities as Tatneft in Turkey. Therefore, we will see how we can develop our cooperation.”
Following the visit to Alabuga, the Consul General noted Tatarstan's leadership in terms of Turkish investments in the country — it is more than $ 2 billion: “We are leaders in this regard. One third of all Turkish investments in Russia are in Tatarstan. I think there is interest and potential here that our companies see. And there is also the personal support of the republic's leadership for all these projects. Turkey sees this special attitude and, hopefully, will continue to invest in the republic.”