Spain and Turkey deepen economic ties

Both countries have held the VIII High Level Meeting where important cooperation agreements on trade, energy, environment and scientific research were signed 
El presidente turco, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) y el primer ministro español, Pedro Sánchez, celebran una conferencia de prensa conjunta en el Palacio de La Moncloa en Madrid el 13 de junio de 2024 - Pierre-Philippe MARCOU / AFP
El presidente turco, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) y el primer ministro español, Pedro Sánchez, celebran una conferencia de prensa conjunta en el Palacio de La Moncloa en Madrid el 13 de junio de 2024 - Pierre-Philippe MARCOU / AFP
  1. Turkey is for Spain "a key economic partner" 
  2. Erdogan thanks Spain for its stance on Gaza 

The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is in Spain on an official visit to boost bilateral relations in different areas, especially in economic and commercial matters.   

Together with his Spanish counterpart, Pedro Sánchez, Erdogan took part in Madrid in the 8th bilateral High Level Meeting (HLM), a meeting which was also attended by 14 ministers from the two countries. The last HLM was held in Ankara in 2021, when a comprehensive partnership was signed that has had positive effects in the economic and commercial sphere in recent years.  

This summit concluded with the signing of 13 partnership agreements in areas such as trade, energy, the environment and scientific research. 

In addition, the joint declaration that was signed sets a new goal of reaching 25 billion euros in trade benefits before the next summit. At the moment, trade exchanges between the two countries are expected to reach 20 billion euros this year, an increase of almost 50% since 2018. 

Following the signing of the agreements, Sánchez and Erdogan held a joint press conference where they praised the solid and strong bilateral relations. However, in Sánchez's words, "there is still a lot of potential for growth".  

The Spanish leader also praised Turkey's role in the war between Ukraine and Russia and its diplomatic efforts to improve the situation, highlighting the prisoner exchange agreements promoted by Ankara and agreements on cereals that have brought stability to international markets.  

Erdogan, for his part, expressed his wish that Turkey, which offers numerous opportunities in different fields, would welcome more Spanish investors. He also stressed that Spain and Turkey are key to stability and security in the Mediterranean region and in Europe.  

Turkey is for Spain "a key economic partner" 

In addition to this meeting, the BBVA hosted a business forum jointly organised by the employers' association CEOE, the State Secretariat for Trade/ICEX and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) and the Turkish Embassy in Spain. 

Around 150 Turkish companies from different sectors participated in this commercial event, which served as an opportunity for both Turkish and Spanish companies to explore new business and investment opportunities in different areas at a global level.  

During his speech at the event, Sánchez stressed that the ties between the two countries in the economic and commercial sphere "have not stopped growing", highlighting that Turkey is "a key economic partner" for Spain. "Spain is Turkey's best ally in Europe, as we have demonstrated on many occasions," added the Spanish President of the Government, according to Servimedia.  

Sanchez has promised to "continue strengthening" relations with Ankara, indicating that Spanish companies see "great opportunities" in the Eurasian nation. At this point he recalled that Spain has "redoubled" its commitment to the country and in 2022 was the first investor. 

Also, on the other hand, Turkish companies "have been increasing their presence in Spain for years, with investments in very strategic sectors for our economy", as Sánchez stated.  

For his part, Erdogan took advantage of his speech at the event to mention the project of Turkey's accession to the European Union, despite the "obstacles", mentioning at this point the rise of the far-right following the last European elections.  

During the meeting, a memorandum of understanding was signed to set up a Spanish-Turkish business committee, chaired by BBVA and Limak, the Turkish company with the largest number of investments in Spain. 

Erdogan thanks Spain for its stance on Gaza 

Although Erdogan's visit to Madrid focused on the economy and trade, the situation in the Gaza Strip was also one of the points to be addressed during the meeting between the two leaders.   

In this regard, the Turkish leader thanked the Spanish government for its stance on the war in Gaza, as well as Madrid's "sincere" support for Turkey's accession to the EU. 

"Sánchez has been principled from day one, he has been coherent, he has committed himself to a policy of conscience by supporting Palestine, and that is why he has a special place in the hearts of the Turks and the Palestinians," Erdogan declared.