Singapore and Turkey have agreed to encourage and support businesses from both countries to venture into each other's markets and form partnerships during an official visit by Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S. Iswaran to Istanbul and capital, Ankara.
Reaffirming ties as both countries mark 50 years of diplomatic relations this year, Mr Iswaran had meetings with Turkish Minister of Trade Ruhsar Pekcan, Singapore's Honorary Consul-General in Turkey Murat Ozyegin, and Singapore and Turkish businesses operating in Turkey during his three-day trip that ended on Thursday (April 4).
In a statement, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said Singapore companies already operating in Turkey are benefiting from the country's large and dynamic market of 81 million people and a gross domestic product of nearly US$784 billion (S$1 trillion).
Some of these companies are CCRManager, a homegrown Singapore fintech company whose first overseas foray was into Turkey; textiles player Indorama Corporation; and serviced residence operator Ascott Limited, MTI added.
Highlighting the potential role of Singapore and Turkey as gateways to wider regional markets in Asia and Europe, respectively, Mr Iswaran said: "These will build even stronger bilateral ties between Turkey and Singapore, which can pave the way for economic growth, and open up even more opportunities for both countries as our economies evolve and adapt to new realities."
Mr Iswaran also participated in Istanbul's Fintech Week 2019, where he spoke to an audience of Turkish and global industry players on "The Role of Government in Boosting Innovation".
"It is important to have a holistic approach, with a business-friendly environment and conducive regime, to build an ecosystem that attracts talent and innovation," he said.
Mr Iswaran also met Turkey's Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and invited him to Singapore for the Aug 7 signing of the Singapore Convention on Mediation, a UN convention that provides a framework for enforcing and invoking global commercial settlements resulting from mediation.
Mr Iswaran was accompanied on the trip by officials from the MTI and the Ministry of Communication and Information.