In a major move that marks the expansion of logistrans Turkey away from its traditional Eurasian focus, Canada has become the first country outside of Eurasia to take a country pavilion at the show.
While airfreight per se was not directly represented on the stand in Hall 9, the total logistics potential was on display. In a presentation in the main forum theatre, Canada’s Istanbul-based Christopher Wimmer, consul and senior trade commissioner, spoke about why Canada had taken a stand and what benefits to Eurasia would come of contact with the Canadians.
He addressed the audience: “Why is Canada here? I hope to explain why we have a booth at logitrans for the first time. On November 13, we had our first meeting under the recently signed Turkish-Canadian trade commission. Turkish trade with Canada has grown significantly over recent years.”
Growth between Turkey and Canada has seen growth rates in this time of 20% per annum.
Canadian businesses are increasing their use of Turkey as a transit point to the “entire region, sending good to Central Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East.
In turn, Rimmer invited companies in the region to treat Canada as a key access point to North America, Central and South America as well as the United States.
He said: “Canada is a free-trading nation with access to some 1.5 billion people in the countries where we have free-trade agreements.”
Wimmer told Air Cargo Week that Canada will not avoid taking advantage of situations when one country cuts off trade activity with another by setting up tariff walls. In fact, the country would seek to take advantage of others’ difficulties.
“Some 20 years ago, around 85% of Canadian trade was with the United States. It is now around 73%. We wanted to move away from having only one major trading partner,” he said.
So strong was this ambition that the country’s trade minister was retitled the minister for trade diversification.
Wimmer and his team must be doing something right: in 2013, Turkey was Canada’s 34th largest trading partner. Now, six years on, it is the 26th.