“Trust bonds are essential for establishing trade relations between Turkey and Tatarstan”

Trust between Russian Tatarstan and Turkey is key to establishing lasting trade relations, the head of the Tatarstan Investment Development Agency said.

“We have similar histories, similar cultures. We understand each other easily. And this is a fundamental basis for trust,” said Taliya Minullina, a senior economic official in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, located east of Moscow in the Volga district. Anadolu Agency (AA) on Monday.

Underlining how essential trust is for doing business abroad, Minullina said businessmen seek to ensure the safety of their capital investments.

“Among all the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Turkey is definitely the number one with which we have the best relations and our trade and investment projects in the country have yielded the best results,” he said. she noted.

Minullina pointed out that when Tatars – an ethnically Turkish people – visit Turkey, they feel at home, thanks in part to the famous Turkish hospitality.

“We visit Turkey several times a year, and it’s not just Istanbul and (the capital) Ankara, (it’s) also other parts of the country… We try to do our best to preserve these relationships and earn that trust,” she added. noted.

She also praised the reliability of Turkish businessmen, saying, “I would say that Turkish investors are extremely reliable in the way they deliver everything we agree on. They always do what they say. And that’s really valuable for Tatarstan.”

The successful cooperation with Turkish companies also helps strengthen ties, Minullina explained.

“Mutually beneficial cooperation will lead us to success, both in Turkey and in Tatarstan,” she stressed.

COVID-19 Challenges

Noting that Russia – a vast country spanning 11 time zones – consists of 85 regions, Minullina said according to the federal ranking, Tatarstan is the second largest among all regions, behind the capital of Moscow.

Tatarstan attracts foreign investment from 79 countries, including Russia, she said, adding: “But Turkey is number one among all countries by the volume of capital that has been invested ($2.5 billion ).”

Referring to the impact of the coronavirus on business in Tatarstan, Minullina said that despite the loss of profits – something seen around the world – no new projects have been cancelled.

“Companies went for credits and loans. We restructured the financial models of some projects. Some projects were postponed just in time,” she said.

In line with global trends, the country has focused on producing surgical masks and disinfectants, building new hospitals and expanding the IT sector.

Kazan Peaks

Touting the Kazan Summit 2021 international economic gathering, which was held in Tatarstan’s capital with AA as its global communication partner, Minullina stressed that the July event was not only aimed at attracting more investment to Russia of OIC countries, but also to strengthen cooperation in trade, culture, tourism and education.

“We try to organize a platform that everyone would benefit from,” she added, touting the annual summit, which has more than a decade under its belt.

Minullina noted that this year’s summit attracted great interest from non-Islamic countries as it hosted 4,750 participants from 64 countries, with the OIC now having 57 countries in its ranks.

The summit participants “would also like to work with the Islamic world. This means that what we are doing at the moment is real and is very necessary”, she underlined.

She pointed out that despite the ongoing pandemic, the number of people visiting the event has increased from 3,500 at the previous summit held in 2019 (after skipping the gathering in 2020).

But even with a strong turnout, “the number of participants is not as important as their quality,” Minullina explained.

“So we would like to attract people who are decision makers, business people, entrepreneurs.”

In the years to come, the event aims to see the presidents of Russia and OIC countries forge new agreements.

Strategic partnership

Addressing Tatarstan’s goals, Minullina said the region aims to be a strategic partner for OIC members and other countries.

Highlighting the importance of these long-term partnerships, she explained, “What we need to do is have strategic partnerships where we can do joint ventures with the companies where we can just have some training together, where we can have strategic plans – not just an investment project. We don’t operate like that anymore.”

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Rose D. Jones