ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
HASEN General Secretary Haldun Yavaş. Cihan Photo
The Istanbul-based Caspian Strategy Institute (HASEN) said on Jan. 26 that regional challenges would force Turkish businesses to seek new markets in the Asia-Pacific region in 2016.
“The world’s economic center of gravity has been shifting to the Asia-Pacific region. The recent Russia-Turkey crisis and the removal of sanctions from Iran, integrating it with the West, will force Turkey to expand in the Asia-Pacific region in 2016,” HASEN General Secretary Haldun Yavaş said at a press conference in Istanbul.
Caspian countries were gaining importance as a transit corridor in the region, he added.
The Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway project, a regional rail link project to directly connect Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, will enable Turkey to increase its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region when it is completed, according to the think tank.
Yavaş said a 4,000-kilometer railway from Baku to China has been completed.
Project officials have said that the railway would be completed in 2016.
“The Azerbaijani and Georgian parts of the Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway have also been completed, but the 76-kilometer part in Turkey has not been finished yet. The completion of the project in time is vital for Turkey to not lose ground to other countries,” Yavaş added.
Considering the impact on the Turkish economy and energy supply of Russian sanctions, Rüçhan Kaya, the HASEN politics and strategy coordinator, said it would not have significant short-term effects.
“However, Turkey may face a bigger risk in terms of energy supply security in the coming years if it does not initiate new projects. Turkey should focus more on Caspian energy sources and improve trade and energy cooperation in the region,” Kaya added.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News