Dutch investments in Turkey not at risk: Minister

Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik reacts during an interview with Reuters in Ankara, Turkey, on Wednesday. (Reuters)
Updated 15 March 2017
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Dutch investments in Turkey not at risk: Minister

ANKARA: Dutch investment in Turkey is not at risk from the diplomatic row between the two countries as Ankara’s ire is focused on the Dutch government, not its people or businesses, Turkey’s minister for EU affairs told Reuters.
Turkey suspended high-level diplomatic relations with the Netherlands on Monday, banning the Dutch ambassador from the country and preventing diplomatic flights from landing in retaliation for the Dutch barring Ankara’s ministers from speaking to rallies of overseas Turks.
Despite the furor, Minister Omer Celik said Ankara was making a call to businesses worldwide that Turkey was a safe country for investment.
“Dutch businessmen who invest, have businesses and create employment in Turkey are included in this (call). They are definitely not part of the crisis,” Celik said in an interview late on Tuesday.
Asked if Dutch companies active in Turkey would be affected by the row, Celik said: “The private sector, business world, tourists and the people of the Netherlands are not a part of the crisis.”
His comments could provide some reassurance to investors after Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Tuesday that economic sanctions against the Netherlands could be in the works.
Dutch direct investment in Turkey amounts to $22 billion, making the Netherlands the biggest source of foreign investment with a share of 16 percent. Turkish exports to the Netherlands totaled $3.6 billion in 2016, making it the 10th largest market for Turkish goods, according to official data.
The row exploded after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan branded the Netherlands “Nazi remnants” at the weekend for barring Turkish ministers from speaking in Rotterdam.
Some analysts have said they do not expect the affair to have immediate economic consequences. However, foreign investor sentiment toward Turkey has been badly bruised by widening security concerns and fears of growing authoritarianism.
Erdogan is drumming up support in the run-up to an April 16 referendum on expanding his powers, and has been looking to the large number of Turks living in Europe to help secure victory. But Turkish campaigning abroad has raised tensions with several European countries, including Germany.
The row has called into question a landmark agreement last year in which Turkey promised to stop migrants and refugees using it as a route to enter the EU, in return for aid and the promise of visa-free travel to the bloc.
Celik said he believed the time had come for Turkey to reassess the deal, as it had become clear the EU would not take a fair stance on the visa issue. Turkey had fulfilled its side of the agreement but the EU had not kept its word, he said.
Progress on the issue has been held up by legal wrangling. Brussels says Ankara needs to narrow its anti-terror laws to meet EU standards; Turkey says it needs the laws in their current form to combat multiple security threats.


Pompeo says China is engaging in ‘predatory economics 101’

Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AP)
Updated 18 June 2018
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Pompeo says China is engaging in ‘predatory economics 101’

  • He said China’s recent claims of “openness and globalization” are “a joke.”

DETROIT: China is engaging in “predatory economics 101” and an “unprecedented level of larceny” of intellectual property, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a business audience Monday.
Pompeo made the remarks at the Detroit Economic Club as global markets reacted to trade tensions between the US and China. Both nations started putting trade tariffs in motion that are set to take effect July 6.
He said China’s recent claims of “openness and globalization” are “a joke.” He added that China is a “predatory economic government” that is “long overdue in being tackled,” matters that include IP theft and Chinese steel and aluminum flooding the US market.
“Everyone knows ... China is the main perpetrator,” he said. “It’s an unprecedented level of larceny.”
“Just ask yourself: Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America?” he said later. “This is predatory economics 101.”
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pompeo raised the trade issue directly with China last week, when he met in Beijing with President Xi Jinping and others.
“I reminded him that’s not fair competition,” Pompeo said.
President Donald Trump has announced a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion in Chinese imports. China is retaliating by raising import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. Trump also has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and European allies.
Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump’s watch. Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top economic adviser, said last week that a “tariff battle” could result in price inflation and consumer debt — “historic ingredients for an economic slowdown.”
Pompeo on Monday described US actions as “economic diplomacy,” which, when done right, strengthens national security and international alliances, he added.
“We use American power, economic might and influence as a tool of economic policy,” he said. “We do our best to call out unfair economic behaviors as well.”