Q: How do you describe the interest of the Turkish companies for Romania in 2016?
Nazmi Dogan: The interest of the Turkish companies for Romania could be described through a figure: EUR 5.5 billion import-export. In 2016, the Turkish companies are highly interested in tourism, the fruits and vegetable market, the machinery industry. We must not forget other important sectors such as: textile, beverage, other technologies etc.
Q: How does the Turkish Government support the Turkish SMEs and their businesses abroad (for instance, in Romania)?
Nazmi Dogan: In Turkey, there is a special agency named KOSGEB (specially designed to support Turkish SMEs abroad), plus other local agencies for SMEs. We have non-refundable funds, not to mention the banks that have special products for supporting SMEs. Other authorities involved in this sector are the Turkish Export Agency and the Turkish Export Union. The Turkish Government facilitates the participation of the Turkish SMEs to the international exhibitions and fairs, by paying participation costs, for example.
Q: For the Turkish capital, is Romania more interesting in terms of greenfield investments or in terms of cooperation with SMEs?
Nazmi Dogan:To this question, I feel the need to answer with some examples: In Craiova, a huge plant has already started operating and it is owned by ETI holding. In Pitesti, there is a factory for door skin production. Also, Arceli Holding has already penetrated the Romanian market. Generally, Turkish companies are interested in agriculture, machinery, dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt), spare parts for the automotive industry. Also, shipping and transport on the route Constanta – Istanbul represent an important trade between the two countries.
Q: What sectors are the most interesting for the Turkish companies that want to do business in Romania in 2016 and beyond?
Nazmi Dogan: Approximately 7,000 Turkish companies are operating for the time being in Romania, but if I have to mention some of them, I would say: Credit Europe Bank, Garanti Bank, Kanal D, Ülker, ETI, Kastamonu Entegre, Erdemir Romania, Ramada Majestic Bucharest, Marathon Group, Peyman, Sirma, Efes Pilsen, Malt & Beverage Group, Dogan Investment, Pakmaya, Romatermit, Mert-San, Su Market, RO STAR, TBI Cotton, Praktiker, HANU’ LUI MANUC, Blaxy Premium Resort, Uber Group, EKTAM, Mr. Peter Company, Turkish Airlines, Banvit, ARTIK, Algida, Lider Pan, GlassCorp, Mete Mimarlik, Ena Farma etc.
Q: Can you make a brief presentation of the most relevant Turkish companies that are already doing business in Romania?
Nazmi Dogan: The Turkish capital is mainly interested in cooperating with SMEs, due to the fact that the SMEs sector represents the main activity in Turkey (in Turkey, 65% of exports are done by SMEs). The geographical position of the two countries (almost neighbours) represents a big advantage for high trade exchanges between our countries. Our association could be a bridge between the two countries.
Q: How can the Turkish and Romanian companies increase the commercial trade between the two countries? What are the most needed services and products for the Turkish market (Romanian exports) and what are the most needed goods and services on the Romanian market that can be offered by Turkish companies?
Nazmi Dogan: The Romanian companies are welcome to invest in sectors such as: construction, textile, jewelry in Turkey. This is the case, as well, for any kind of food, edible oils, fish, cereals (sunflower, corn, wheat), huge construction services for highways, electronics, modernization, design of hotels, generators, cogeneration, energy-saving and energy efficiency projects.
Q: In terms of business climate, what do you want to see in Romania? What don’t you want to see in Romania?
Nazmi Dogan: I want to see equality, loyal competition, an increased number of SMEs, political stability in terms of legislation, a fiscal relaxation for the benefit of SMEs companies (and their employees, as well), a decrease of unemployment, a higher rate of European funds collection, schemes of state help. I do not want to see much expansion of multinationals, political instability, poor economic legislation, lack of facilities for investors etc.
Q: From a businessman’s point of view and as the President of The Association of the Turkish SMEs in Romania, taking into consideration ‘the new business equation’, what are the most important variables for 2016 and beyond in Romania?
Nazmi Dogan: As I have mentioned before, I need to see Romania does not remain a consumer country. Romania should become a producer, increase its productivity, find its own potential, and focus on collecting European funds as much as possible.