A special interview with Tamer ATALAY, president of the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania-Turkey for Romania Journal, on the occasion of National Day of the Republic of Turkey.
20 years ago, an initiative group of Romanian and Turkish businessmen, lawyers and even journalists decided to join forces to establish the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania–Turkey (CCIRT).
“All from the desire to encourage and give a real support to Turkish investors wishing to do business in Romania, as well as to Romanian businessmen for whom Turkey represents an interest in developing bilateral economic and trade activities in the mutual benefit of both countries,” Tamer Atalay, president of Bilateral Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania-Turkey said in an interview for Romania Journal, on the occasion of National Day of the Republic of Turkey, celebrated on October 29.
Currently, the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania-Turkey rejoins several hundred business people, investors and companies both in Turkey and in Romania.
„With full sincerity, I say that for us, the Turkish investors, Romania has become a second home. Moreover, many of those who work here, requested and even they were granted the Romanian citizenship.
The activity we held all these years has led to the recognition by the Romanian authorities of our contribution to enhancing the economic relations between Romania and Turkey, thus giving the public utility status to CCIRT.
Furthermore, we must say without false modesty that, currently, Turkey ranks first among the countries outside the European Union, wherewith Romania has commercial relationships. This is due to us too, to our business!” Atalay pointed out.
He also added that the history of the two countries has many and long common steps.
„There is therefore an undeniable spiritual closeness, even if in terms of religious faith the two sides are different. The fact that here, in Romania, there is a large Turkish community, this has a great importance too in the attraction that your country has exerted to our investors,” the official of the chamber of commerce explainded.
Turks, the first foreign investors in Romania
Despite difficult economic conditions due to financial crisis in 2009, Turkey remained a constant investor in Romania, one of the most active.
On the other hand, the opportunities offered by the Romanian economy after 1989, it seems to be a constant attraction for Turkish businessmen.
„I would like to remind you that in 1990, the Turks were among the first – if not maybe the first! – foreign investors in Romania!”, President of the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania-Turkey stated.
According to official data, 13,929 companies with Turkish capital were recorded in Romania at end-2014. The amount of subscribed capital reached USD 739.5 million, representing 1.36 percent of the total subscribed capital by foreign investors.
Following the share capital value, Turkey ranks the 14th in a top of residence countries of investors in trading companies with foreign participation during 1991 – December 2014, and the 3rd in a top by country of residence, after the number of companies registered in Romania.
According to estimates, the total investments of Turkish companies so far in Romania, directly and indirectly (made by companies registered in other countries), exceed EUR 4 billion (USD 5.5 billion).
At June 30, 2015, Romanian-Turkish trade exchanges stood at EUR 2.2246 billion, up by 3.5 percent, compared to the first half of 2014.
The exports amounted to EUR 1.1571 billion, down 1.7 percent, while imports were EUR 1.0675 billion, 9.8 percent higher than in the first six months of 2014.
The trade balance was in Romania’s favor by EUR 89.6 million.
Even if the financial crisis has left heavy footprints in Europe, including Romania, Turkish businessmen continued to show interest in domestic business environment. As President of Romania-Turkey Bilateral Chamber Of Commerce and businessman in Romania from many years already, Tamer Atalay knows it very well.
„The global financial crisis, combined locally with excessive fiscality, excessive number of financial controls, their mismatch, VAT rate have prompted many investors to quit to activate in Romania, focusing their attention on other countries such as Bulgaria, Moldova, Russia and the African continent.
The recent measures of the Romanian Government, regarding the financial and economic environment, as well as the business environment, make me hope that they will have a positive and fast impact on improvingthe motivation of foreign investors to be in Romania,” Tamer Atalay commented.
Otherwise, on this issue, he said that the institution he represents has a series of contacts and discussions with the government authorities in Romania, to bring a specific positive contribution and to correctly represent the bilateral Chamber members.
As a conclusion, Tamer Atalay invited his Turkish people to continue to come and to invest in Romania and sent his brethren: „Cumhuriyet Bayraminiz Kutlu Olsun! (Happy holidays on the Republic Day!)”