Turkish companies were well represented at the recent China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, as the relationship between the two countries becomes closer.
In late September, construction work began on the Hunutlu Thermal Power Plant. This is China’s flagship Belt & Road project in Turkey, linking up with Turkey’s so-called Middle Corridor Initiative.
A ceremony to mark the beginning of construction was attended by the Governor of Adana Mahmut Demirtas and Shanghai Electric Power Chairman Wang Yundan.
The project, located in the southern province of Adana, has a total investment of US$1.7 billion.
It is being developed by Emba Electricity Production, a joint venture between Shanghai Electric Power, Avic-Intl Project Engineering Company and two local Turkish investors.
It involves not only the power plant but also an associated port and storage silo facilities for coal transportation. The 1,320MW project is planned to begin its first phase of operation at the end of 2021. It will have two units of 660MW each.
Trade is also growing between the two countries, and at this year’s CIIE Turkish companies took up twice as much space as last year.
Adil Pelister, chairman of Istanbul Chemicals and Chemical Products Exporters Association (IMMIB), was quoted by Xinhua as saying that China was now a strategic market for Turkish exporters.
A total of 58 Turkish firms specializing in cosmetics, porcelain, kitchenware and utensils, textiles, food, electronics, and medical products and services took part in the expo in Shanghai.
China has grown to be Turkey’s biggest trading partner in Asia, and Chinese investment in Turkey is growing.
In July 2018, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China made available a US$3.6 billion loan prorgamme to support the energy and transportation sector in Turkey. ICBC has also made loans in support of two major infrastructure project refinancings, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and the Northern Marmara Expressway.