Mr. Rahmi Koç, honorary chairman of Koç Holding, the largest investment holding company in Turkey, hosted ambassador Vegard Ellefsen and his team from the Embassy for lunch in Istanbul on October 16. Mrs. Vera Bulgurlu who has strong Norwegian roots and her husband and former CEO of Koc Holding, Dr. Bülent Bulgurlu, also attended the lunch. Koç Holding is active in a number of areas, i.a. in energy, finance, automotive industry and shipping. The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund (Government Pension Fund –Global) is among the investors in the holding company.
At lunch several topics were touched on, including bilateral trade, investments and opportunities for Norwegian business in Turkey. Ambassador Ellefsen also briefed on the government’s parliamentary white paper on “The Place of Oceans in Norway’s Foreign and Development Policy”, in particular on the worrisome spread of microplastic in world oceans.
Ambassador Ellefsen attended the same evening the annual dinner of TURMEPA (Turkish Marine Environment Protection Association), hosted by Mr. Koç.
For a deeper dive into the issue of plastic pollution, see this report from the World Economic Forum.