Turkey has been booming for the past decade, and Turin Mayor Piero Fassino is on a mission to make sure his city's businesses get a piece of the action.
"We must grow more and more as a system abroad", Fassino told reporters on Thursday. "Hardly anyone can go it alone on a new territory any more. In Turkey or in China, going it alone is very difficult".
Fassino has been busy signing cooperation agreements, with the mayor of Smyrna yesterday and with that of Istanbul today.
Turin is Italy's second province in export terms, and companies like Fiat and Ferrero have had a privileged relationship with Turkey since the 1960s. Now the 17th world economy, Turkey last year posted 8.5% growth, and its ongoing 10-year boom, which promises to bring the country into the world's top ten economies by 2023, makes it an important reference point, Italian Ambassador Gianpaolo Scarante told executives from the almost 950 Italian companies doing business here. Many of these have entered into joint ventures with local companies in order to win important bids in Central Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, where Turkish entrepreneurs have a traditional network of relationships.
On Friday, Fassino is to appear at the World Chambers Federation, where he will uphold his city's candidacy to host the 2015 World Chambers Congress over rivals like Belfast, Liverpool, and Geneva.