Bulgarian-Turkish Investment

According to a recent report from Bulgarian News Agency BTA, Trakia Glass Bulgaria which is owned by Sisecam (a Turkish-owned glass-maker) – is due to make a $60m investment “in capacity expansion in 2012.”

As reported in a news article on the web, these funds will be put towards “increasing the capacity of an existing tableware furnace and opening a second furnace at its plant near Bulgaria’s northeastern town of Turgovishte.”  This upgrade will do a lot.  Indeed, the current furnace’s daily glass output will be expanded by a staggering 18 tons.  As well, at the new facility, there will be an increase in production of up to 200 tons of tableware glass each day.

As well, at some point, this will lead to a job-creation scheme and provide a further 200 jobs.  Right now anyway the employee count at Sisecam’s tableware glass unit stands at 1,000.  Just a few months ago, earlier this year, the fifth production facility was opened at the plant which is set to “manufacture motor vehicles.”

To date, the invetment in the Bulgarian unit made by Sisecam has reached $405m.

Additional Asian Alliance

Turkey and Vietnam Need to Join Forces

It seems that if there was greater cooperation between Vietnam and Turkey, the economy climates of both countries would greatly benefit. According to an article in the Vietnam News, they need to get on to this though and start making real efforts so that they will thrive. This is the case for many areas such as: “economics, education and training, [and] science and technology.” It was just two days ago that Nguyen Tan Dung, the Prime Minister of Vietnam, spoke about this in a statement in which he “received outgoing Turkish Ambassador Ates Oktem in Ha Noi.” He had been impressed with the Ambassador’s efforts in his time in office which helped “develop the Vietnam-Turkish friendship and co-operation.”

Better Buddies

Although there is still a way to go, things have for sure improved between Turkey and Vietnam in the last few years. For example, just last year, trading between the two countries reached US$850m. At the moment, Turkey and Vietnam are in the process of signing an “investment encouragement and double taxation avoidance agreements.” It is anticipated that these will really give a jumpstart to economic cooperation and partnerships between the two countries.

Put Differences Aside

It is true that there has been tension between the two countries over the years. But imagine what would happen if these were totally put to one side? As it is business between Turkey and Vietnam is booming and got to almost $1bn last year, even with the current political instability. There has been a steady increase of trade between the two countries over the last few years “from almost nothing to $857m in 2010.” In 2002, this figure was just a little more than $100m.

It is Turkey that is vehement in trying to improve relations with Vietnam and working hard towards this goal. It intends to “appoint a trade counselor” to its Hanoi embassy. Vietnam is home to around 86 million people and is the world’s 13th biggest population. So it’s worth everyone working closely with Vietnam, but especially Turkey.

Large Saudi Arabian Turkish Investments

Saudi Arabia hopes to make significant investments into Turkey over the next two decades. Figures for this are up to $600 billion. The main areas of investment will probably be manufacturing and agriculture, according to the National Commercial Bank’s chair, Abu al-Nasr. He commented that agriculturally, Turkey has come out as “one of the top recipients of Saudi investment, as the kingdom seeks to boost its food security.” In this vein, Planet Food World is set to put a $3 billion investment into Turkish agriculture over the next five years. The goal is to ultimately “export food products to the Gulf region.”

Investments Good for King?

Maybe this is what is helping Saudi Arabia’s King get well again. According to reports from his daughter, King Abdullah is getting so much better that he will soon be making his way back to is country. Currently King Abdullah is in America where he went for back surgery on November 22 for a debilitating herniated disc complicated by a haematoma which put pressure on his spine. The surgery was successful but he also required a supplementary surgery to repair other vertebrae. That too went well.

Of course, any good news like financial improvement for his country would make King Abdullah happy. But perhaps this really good news about working with Turkey helped facilitate his recovery even further.

Armenian Investment is Working

Increased Investment Opportunities for Armenia

Good news for Armenian investments. According to the country’s parliament chairman, Hovik Abrahamian, attempts are being made to push for investments in the transport and energy sectors throughout the BSEC countries.* As well, the greater cohesion between BSEC member countries, the better for all, especially since this is the current goal of the National Assembly of Armenia. This is bound to lead to an increase in investment opportunities for the country.

Armenia Develops Iranian Energy Cooperation

When Armenia attempts to work with Iran, according to Armen Movisyan (the former country’s Energy Minister), around 80 percent of cooperation between the two countries comes from the energy sector, at an estimated volume of $450 million. If a third transmission is built and a hydroelectric power plant on Araks River, this will further connect the two countries which could also ultimately lead to the goal of establishing a “North – South” transport corridor.

Armenia and Energy Security

According to Sevak Sarukhanyan (Armenia’s Deputy Director of Noravank Foundation), “energy security is the most important issue for Armenia, as the country was probably the first state in CIS and the post-Soviet area to be hit by a severe energy crisis.” The two factors that basically led to this crisis were the closing of the Metasmor nuclear power plant in the late 1980s and the shifting of the country’s energy production to thermal power plants utilizing natural gas and fuel oil.

So it does seem today that there is much work to be done in terms of political and economic cohesion between Armenia and other BSEC countries, as well as Iran. At the end of the day – political affiliations and aspirations aside – most countries want the best for their citizens and that usually means working with neighboring countries to acquiesce the best investments.

*Established in 1992, the BSEC comprises Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine with Austria, Germany, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Tunisia, France, the Confederation of European Energy Charter and the International Black Sea having observer status.

Turkey’s Economy: Africa and Syria

Turkey Makes Strides in Africa

Abdullah Gal, the President of Turkey, was said to have had a “fruitful” visit to Africa vis-à-vis his country’s political, economic and military strategy. “I am glad to learn that our companies interested in mining have made significant pre-agreements during this visit,” he said. He met with President John Evans Atta Mils (of Ghana); Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba (Gabon), marking the first time a Turkish president has formally made such a visit.

Syria Set to Spoil Turkey’s Economic Advances?

News in Syria impacting Turkey is that there has been disturbance between anti-government protesters and security forces, resulting in at least 15 dead from two days ago, which is likely to impact more than a $1 billion in Turkish investments around the country. So far it appears that these events haven’t yet affected business life, but it is still early days.