Speaking at the Industry Establishments Sector Performance Assessment Meeting, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said that the East Marmara Region is the dynamo of the Turkish economy.​


Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

The system must be redesigned

11.01.2012 / Sapanca / Sakarya

Speaking at the Industry Establishments Sector Performance Assessment Meeting, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said that the East Marmara Region is the dynamo of the Turkish economy.​


Industry Establishments Sector Performance Assessment Meeting and 2011 Over The Line Sector Performance Assessment Awards Ceremony, organized by the Kocaeli Chamber of Industry in Sapanca, was attended by the President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, Kocaeli Mayor Ercan TOPACA, Yalova Mayor Esengül Civelek, TOBB Board Compter Member İlhan Parseker, East Marmara Region chamber presidents and the region’s businessmen.

Speaking at the meeting, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the East Marmara region is Turkey’s dynamo, saying that the region is at the head of the fastest developing regions in the last ten years.

Stating that the region has great industrial, touristic and agricultural potential, Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that they are unable to fulfill their agricultural potential, saying, “Holland is a country the size of Konya. Holland’s exports reach 52 billion Dollars while Turkey’s are at 12 billion Dollars. Turkey is the 9th largest country in terms of arable land in the world.

The East Marmara region is equal to Konya. We must set our goals right. We must know what we will plant and what we won’t. We plant whatever made money the previous year. We planted nuts everywhere because nuts made money.”

Emphasizing that an inventory of agriculture must be made, TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu related an experience of his, “Six years ago there was a nut harvest disagreement. The Minister of Agriculture requested that I act as intermediary to exchange, agriculture chamber and export union presidents. As talks began with the presidents arriving in Ankara, it was evident that the harvest was being determined in a very haphazard manner.”

- Growth record

Stating that Turkey has made important leaps in terms of economy, Hisarcıklıoğlu went on, “As of the first 9 months of this year we will be achieving a first, surpassing China. Who is behind this success? Where is this 9.6% growth coming from? The consumption and investment share of the private sector is 11.5% while the public administration’s is 1.2%, unfortunately the gap between imports and exports have dragged us down by 3.1 points. If it hadn’t, we would have grown by 12.7%. Despite this we grew by 9.6%”

Hisarcıklıoğlu, touching on the economic troubles in the world stated that those who made suggestions to Turkey in regards to economy are now in trouble because they didn’t follow their own counsel.

Pointing out that we must approach the crisis in the west carefully, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Will this crisis cause trouble for us? 50% of our exports are made to the EU, to the EU market. If we think in terms of economy, if the consumption decreases then our exports may drop. 60% of our tourists come from this region and 70% of the foreign capital of Turkey is based there. Therefore we must pay attention to this region.”

- “I’m hopeful for the new constitution”

Stating that Turkey is the 17th largest economy in the world, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that they plan to rise to 10th in the coming term.

Despite the size of the economy Turkey is still 65th on the Ease of Business index, Hisarcıklıoğlu went on, “We must redesign the system. The design of the system is the constitution. I’m hopeful for the new constitution. Why? When you look at the Grand National Assembly, for the first time, when all groups are taken into account, 95% of the population is represented and these four political parties have promised us a new constitution.”

- “UMEM Ability’10 is a very beneficent project”

TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu urged businessmen to take advantage of opportunities like ABİGEM, KOBİ Inc. and the Credit Guarantee Fund. Reminding that the Credit Guarantee Fund provides surety for entrepreneurs having difficulty attaining finances, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that KOBİ Inc. provides support to promising projects and enterprises, parting ways once everything is set up and running.

Stating that ABİGEM centers are especially of assistance to SMEs which would have trouble employing consultants and that many entrepreneurs have achieved success with the help of ABİGEM.

Providing information regarding the UMEM Ability’10 Project, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Wit this project, we provide occupation for the unemployed. UMEM is a very beneficent project. Kocaeli is making good use of this project, but not enough. This must be developed further.”

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