NL: Reduction of import levies Turkey within reach

On Tuesday, October 3 2017, in the presence of the Turkish Minister of Economic Affairs, Lucas Vos signed a collaboration agreement with the chairs of the Turkish interest groups representing growers and exporters.

The signing of the letter of intent was also the start of negotiations about removing the Turkish trade barriers. Lucas Vos and the chairs of those interest groups held intensive talks the same day with the Turkish Minister of Economic Affairs and the Turkish Minister of Agriculture.

Top 10 largest economies
Turkey has huge ambitions. The country has set itself the target of being among the top 10 of the world's largest economies by 2023 - the year that the republic celebrates its centenary since its founding. In terms of the horticultural sector, Royal FloraHolland and Turkey share the same vision and strategy. Turkey wants to professionalise its own horticultural sector, expand production and increase the horticultural export to €500 million in 2023 (+85%).

Royal FloraHolland's strategy of Flowering the World aims to enlarge the international market for its member-growers and customers. The Turkish horticultural sector has everything it needs to provide a distinctive contribution to this strategy: a good climate for growing almost every product, enough space for new production areas, a mature retail channel and an export market of 56 countries and 1.5 billion consumers within 4 hours' flying distance (country analysis, RFH).

Turkish interest groups want reduction in import levies
The import-limiting measures imposed by Turkey actually form the only obstacle to the realisation of the objectives of the Turkish horticultural sector and of Royal FloraHolland. By signing the letter of intent, the first major step was taken towards lowering that barrier. Monique Heemskerk, Turkey/Eurasia manager, explained, 'Over the past few years we have chosen consciously for a sectoral approach in our dealings with Turkey and Eurasia. By establishing a close collaboration with the Turkish interest groups, we at Royal FloraHolland stay away from politics and make an ally of the Turkish horticultural sector.' This approach has been successful.

The Turkish interest groups now support the principle that lowering the trade barriers is a precondition if there is to be growth in the Turkish horticultural sector. The first intensive negotiations on this topic were held on October 3 by Lucas Vos, Monique Heemskerk and the chairs of the Turkish interest groups with the relevant ministers. Both Turkish interest groups expect that the actual reduction of the import levies will take just a year. That seems a realistic estimate given the fact that the Turkish government supports and subsidises the joint projects that Royal FloraHolland has set up together with the Turkish horticultural sector.

Joint projects
These joint projects focus on increasing production and sales, and setting up an efficient supply chain. Royal FloraHolland brings knowledge, capacity and experience to these projects, and the Turkish horticultural sector contributes capacity, the necessary network and new members for the cooperative.

In his speech on October 3, Lucas Vos compared this collaboration to the one between Royal FloraHolland and the African horticultural sector and the growth that it produced for both parties: the 140 RFH members in Africa currently have a total turnover of $600 million and export to 15 different countries. Or further back in time - the way in which Royal FloraHolland previously encouraged the flourishing of an enormous sales market together with growers and customers in Europe: step by step, hand in hand. The only difference is that now it can draw on over 100 years of experience, enriched with new technologies and new ideas.

Source: Royal FloraHolland

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