Yes, a quarter of the GDP in Turkey is generated in and by Istanbul. It is unavoidable to be drawn to the dynamics and potential of Istanbul; Napoleon already said that if there were to be one world capital it should be Constantinople (as Istanbul was known before). And indeed, as a visitor or someone living in this great city one feels the vibration on every corner.
The Possibilities outside of Istanbul
However, ¼ production in Istanbul implies that ¾ comes from the rest of Turkey, which at times tends to get unnoticed. For this reason the Dutch Consulate General in Istanbul organized for the second time a regional business mission on February the 6th. This time to the province of Tekirdağ, in Western Turkey, a two hour drive from Istanbul. Last year we went to Kocaeli on the Asian side, a 1 ½ hour drive from Istanbul.
Economic diplomacy is a main task of Dutch missions abroad, building bridges and assisting in connecting Dutch and foreign companies. These regional missions are one of our instruments. It is relatively low key; just one or two days to a promising location outside Istanbul, to get to know the governor and mayor, have a meeting at the Chamber of Commerce, do some matchmaking, have a reception and visit a company or two. This recipe was also applied this time during our one day visit to Tekirdağ. Leaving early at 7.30 (with coffee of course) and returning at 20.00, after a dinner at a well known fish restaurant for the whole delegation.
Asyaport: Becoming Turkey’s Largest Container Port
One of the main reasons to visit Tekirdağ is the newly built Asyaport which is scheduled to become Turkey’s largest container port. When combining the new container port with the upcoming high way around the sea of Marmara with its new bridges and the link with the new airport of Istanbul it is clear that Tekirdağ has a bright future.
The delegation counted 29 persons. One satisfied participant: “I would like to thank you and the team for organizing the mission to Tekirdağ last week.It was the first time for me attending such an event and, aside from being a great experience, I also met a lot of interesting people with whom I will stay in contact. In addition, it is really inspiring to see how the Netherlands is taking initiative to build our Dutch brand across Turkey”.
Holland-Turkey Business Tour 2015
The concept of regional business tours was introduced to Turkey by Ambassador Ron Keller, who had experience with this concept in his previous postings. This year the Dutch diplomatic network will expand on this idea by a whole series of regional business trips and other economic activities. Colleague Jeroen Kelderhuis branded this as the Holland-Turkey Business Tour 2015.
The next business trip from Istanbul will be to Bursa this spring, one of the industrial centers of Turkey with many opportunities for the Dutch supply industry.
Are you interested in participating in the regional mission to Bursa, most likely in spring 2015? Do you want to know more about the Holland-Turkey Business Tour? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Bursa trip. For the Holland-Turkey Business Tour have a look here or watch this movie.