The visit symbolises strong ties between the two nations as they aim to expand their economic cooperation in various fields.

Malaysian Prime Minister YAB Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has arrived in Istanbul for an official visit to Türkiye at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

Landing in the country on Tuesday, Ismail Sabri is expected to explore bilateral commodity trading opportunities as both countries strive to strengthen economic ties.

Türkiye and Malaysia are both members to the UN, the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation and the D-8 and the two friendly nations share a common perspective on a broad range of regional and global issues.

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed in April 2014 and came into force on 1 August 2015 constitutes the first ever FTA that Türkiye concluded with an ASEAN member. The Prime Minister is expected to visit the Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation and Turkish Aerospace to strengthen cooperation through the sharing of technology after his meeting with President Erdogan in Ankara on Thursday.

The Malaysia PM’s four-day official visit began with a terminal tour upon his arrival at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, which is owned and managed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
The Malaysia PM’s four-day official visit began with a terminal tour upon his arrival at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, which is owned and managed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB). (TRTWorld)
Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (ISG) Airport is the world’s busiest single runway and single terminal airport located on the Asian side of Istanbul which can handle up to 41 million passengers annually.
Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (ISG) Airport is the world’s busiest single runway and single terminal airport located on the Asian side of Istanbul which can handle up to 41 million passengers annually. (TRTWorld)

Istanbul is the world’s 3rd most visited city in Europe with 14.7 million tourists received in 2019 and with 13,000 sqm duty free and F&B area, 128-room airport hotel and 4,800-lot car park ISG caters to more than 22 million people who reside within 2 hours from the airport. 

Malaysia Airports’ involvement in ISG started in 2008, as part of a consortium with Limak Holdings and GMR (MAHB – 20 percent, Limak – 40 percent, GMR – 40 percent) to develop a 25-mppa greenfield airport. Later MAHB became the sole shareholder by acquiring the remaining shares from the consortium partners in 2014.

Awarded the “Fastest Growing Airport” in its class by Airports Council International for 7 consecutive years between 2009 and 2015, ISG won the title of "Airport of the Year" in the 30+ million passenger capacity category by the Centre of Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) in 2019.

In 2019, Sabiha Gokcen Airport, MAHB’s largest overseas investment served a record high of 35.5 million passengers and registered a profit of EUR25 million prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2021, ISG ranked as Europe’s sixth busiest airport and second fastest-recovering airport in Europe, total passenger numbers reaching 25 million (70 percent of 2019’s performance).

Up till May 2022, the total number of passengers recorded was around 11 million, which is 81 percent of the same period in 2019. International passenger movements has surpassed the same period in May 2019 by 105 percent, indicating possible full recovery by 2024.

Continuing its efforts to become a leading city airport, ISG is currently focusing on two major areas – continuously providing safe and seamless travel, and nurturing and retaining its employees.

ISG launched the “Great Place to Work” (GPTW) initiative to create more openness and transparency in its Human Resource practices e.g., it did a benchmarking exercise on the salary scale and staff benefits against other players in the aviation industry.

Türkiye is one of the key trading partners of Malaysia. In 2021, the exports of palm oil and its products from Malaysia to Türkiye touched  US$1.06 billion. The supply largely met the growing demand, particularly in the Turkish food industry as well as the home and personal care industry.

Source: TRT World