2007

4th Turk - Ita Forum

21-22 November 2007, Instanbul

Conrad Hotel

The Fourth Turkish-Italian Forum was held at the Istanbul Conrad Hotel on November 21-22, 2007. The Forum was organised by SAM and UniCredit Group in cooperation with the Italian geopolitical periodicals Limes and East.

The Fourth Forum brought together 285 Turkish and Italian businessmen, academicians, policy makers, government officials, as well as representatives from cultural and artistic circles and non-governmental organisations.

The participants exchanged views in three different workshops on the Middle East, Turks and Europeans perceptions of each other and the financial crisis that took place in Turkey. They gave attribution to the high performance of the Turkish economy following the financial crisis and maintained that it has the potential to become the largest economy within the EU by the year 2050. The Italian participants mentioned that Italian company investment in Turkey is growing and emphasized that they consider Turkey as an important investment partner in the fields of telecommunication, transportation and energy.

The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ali Babacan underlined that Turkey will continue its reforms within the framework of its EU candidacy and that the accession process had reached a point of no return after the negotiations launched on October 3, 2005. Mr. Babacan stressed the economic, political and security acquisitions the EU would gain with Turkey's full membership. He also pointedto the importance of the Turkish-Italian cooperation in the field of energy security.

The Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Massimo D'Alema stated that the two countries' strategic interests overlap in many fields and their approaches show many similarities, especially in issues related to the Middle East. Mr. D'Alema mentioned that the importance of Turkey increased in various regions, especially in the Middle East and that Turkey contributes to stability in the region with its friendly and peaceful relations with all actors concerned. He also pointed out that Turkey's role would provide EU important advantages in the region.


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