New opportunities for Czech-Turkish economic partnership

‘The combination of Türkiye’s strategic location and the country’s excellent orientation in the Central Asian, Middle Eastern and African markets, combined with the technological advancement of Czech companies creates an ideal opportunity to start a new chapter of the already-existing cooperation’

he ongoing instability of the global order strives for greater flexibility, innovative approaches and, thus, faster technological development. This can significantly increase our competitiveness and present new opportunities.

The Czech-Turkish economic partnership can also benefit from this. The comparative advantage is given by Türkiye’s strategic location and the country’s excellent orientation on the markets of Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, alongside the technological advancement of Czech companies strengthened by the benefits of the country’s membership in the European Union. These combined create the ideal opportunity to begin a new chapter of the already-existing cooperation.

This year has been extremely challenging. Post-COVID-19 economic growth has significantly contributed to incredibly high inflation across continents and to an extreme rise in energy prices, which has been reflected not only in our daily lives but also in our energy-intensive industrial production. Russian aggression in Ukraine has led not only to the suffering of millions of Ukrainians but also to the termination of many sub-contracts from these countries to Europe, Türkiye not excluded, causing production difficulties and delays in the delivery of finished products. One such example is the supply of Skoda cars to Türkiye, which has been experiencing a consistently high demand.

Green Deal

The Czech Republic, which currently presides over the Council of the European Union, must take this situation into account and set its priorities to ensure energy security and the development of new partnerships that strengthen the resilience of the European economy. In addition to ensuring the supply of raw materials from other sources and improving energy efficiency, this important task is closely linked to the commitment of the Green Agreement, also referred to as the Green Deal. In accordance with this deal, Europe should aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, in comparison with 1990.

Even if this goal is not achieved overnight, it is necessary to think about it and initiate joint projects, e.g. for the production of green hydrogen from solar or wind energy, which would be able to transport to Europe using the existing infrastructure. Due to the financial difficulty of transporting hydrogen by ship, Türkiye’s proximity to the European market creates a significant advantage.

 

In times of crisis, it is necessary to look ahead and view obstacles as new opportunities and catalysts for solutions, which are often unexpected, but all the more effective. The chance to deepen the Czech-Turkish economic partnership is also on the table.

Türkiye: A trade hub

The Czech Republic and its industrial infrastructure offer a strategic location in the center of Europe, enhanced by intensive connections with Germany and membership in the unified European market. Türkiye is the key transportation and trade hub and gateway to Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Türkiye has already been successfully operating in many markets, and thanks to its knowledge of local markets, new possibilities for developing joint projects arise using advanced Czech technologies, specifically in fields such as the defense industry, renewable energy, engineering, infrastructure, IT and artificial intelligence, or large-scale industrial transformation.

In addition to the commitment to deepening cooperation with Czech business entities of the same field of interest, other new promising partnerships that reflect the current potential of the Turkish national economy, specifically in the field of modern agricultural machinery, industrial fertilizers, water purifiers, chemical industry, plastics or spare parts for the automotive industry, can come to fruition.

Czech companies can offer their knowledge, experience and products in fields related to nanotechnology, engineering, health care, renewable energy sources, and waste management, not excluding the defense industry, which is extremely important for Türkiye as the second-largest military in the North Atlantic Alliance. Furthermore, Czech companies are prepared for dialogue with their Turkish partners in terms of significant industry opportunities where they could succeed as a result of their unique know-how.

It is in these difficult times that pragmatic considerations should guide us on how to objectively, promptly and innovatively deal with the crises in which we find ourselves. Production partnerships or replacement of terminated sub-contracts from Ukraine and Russia are just a few small examples from which Czech and Turkish companies can profit today. The fact that the Czech Republic perceives Türkiye as its important partner plays an indisputable advantage here and such has been confirmed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s recent invitation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Prague for the first summit of the European Political Community. Another example is the current visit of the Minister of Industry and Trade, Jozef Sikela, accompanied by several dozen Czech companies to Ankara and Istanbul.

During this visit, the official opening ceremony of the Czech-Turkish DERNEK platform, based in Istanbul, has been planned. The platform aims to support the further development of business, cultural and scientific relations between the two countries.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Czech Minister of Industry and Trade

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