Speaking at the Turkish-Czech Business Forum, TOBB/DEİK President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that in order to remedy the effects of the global crisis, further cooperation and commerce is needed and called out to Czech investors invest together.​


Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Hisarcıklıoğlu calls out to Czech companies to “invest with us”

14.02.2012 / Ankara


Speaking at the Turkish-Czech Business Forum, TOBB/DEİK President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that in order to remedy the effects of the global crisis, further cooperation and commerce is needed and called out to Czech investors invest together.​


Turkish-Czech Business Forum was held at the TOBB Union Center, hosted by TOBB/DEİK President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu and attended by President Gül, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Czech Republic Industry and Commerce Minister Martin Kuba.

In his speech at the Forum, TOBB/DEİK President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu -pointing out that the world economy is undergoing an important and critical period- said, “The economic problems which first emerged in the USA and have been apparent in Europe during the last year are affecting the whole world, starting with developed countries. Old habits are being abandoned. Understandings of economy management are being forced to change.”

- “We are following the developments in the EU very closely”

Stating that they are following the developments in the EU very closely, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Because, as the Turkish private sector, our largest trade partner is the EU. EU is also important in terms of investment and tourism for us. We are making our own plans with an eye to the developments in the EU.”

Relating having met with the European Commission Monetary Policy and Budget Commissioner Olli Rehn the previous day, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the events in progress in the EU show that the priority for economies should be growth. Hisarcıklıoğlu said:

“Otherwise, no solutions can be found to address unemployment, debt or public deficit. Production capacity is required in order to achieve growth. The state of the countries which lack production capacity is apparent. On the other hand, countries with industrial production capacity can overcome economic crises much faster. One of the most important factors of our rapid recovery after the crisis of 2001 was the capacity and dynamism of the Turkish industry and private sector. In this regard the Czech Republic is one of the countries that stand out from the other countries in the European Union. The Czech Republic is one of the countries with a strong industry in the EU geography. In the last 10 years, it has shown a great growth performance. With a national income of 220 billion Dollars, the Czech Republic is Europe’s shining star. Geographically, the Czech Republic’s position in Europe is analogous to the position of Turkey in relation to Europe, Asia and Africa. Being the target of technology investments for the last 10 years is the most tangible proof the Czech Republic’s potential.

The Czech Republic, at the very center of the European Union was definitely affected by the economic crisis. However, we know that, with its strong potential, it will be one of the countries to rise out of the crisis the fastest.”

- Turkey economy

Stating that Turkey’s economy has also accounted well for itself during the economic crisis, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Our GDP and exports have exceeded pre-crisis figures. We are the growth champion of 2010 in the OECD. In the first three quarters of 2011 we were the fastest growing country in the world with a rate of 9.6%. Turkey was one of the 7 countries which had its credit rating increase during the global crisis.”

- “More trade is needed”

As the banking sector tries to escape liquidation throughout the world, Turkish banks have not taken a single cent from the government, reminded Hisarcıklıoğlu and said that the Turkish private sector broke records in investment –investing over 100 billion Dollars in only a year.

Hisarcıklıoğlu said:

“Three fourths of these investments are in machinery. The Turkish private sector has provided employment to 2.5 million people in the last 2 years. Our citizens used to go to Europe to find employment, now European youth wants to learn Turkish and find employment in Turkey.

With the crisis, we’ve seen that the only way to repair the damage of the global crisis is more cooperation and trade. Developing countries are the dynamos of the world economy. The two fastest developing countries of this region are Turkey and the Czech Republic. There is great potential for cooperating in third countries not just bilateral cooperation. The culture of partnership is already known to and practiced by Czech companies.”

- “We value trade with Czechs”

“We have investing companies. Ask them! Czech companies investing in Turkey are amassing massive profits. We are the country with the strongest industry between Italy and China. We export 135 million Dollars’ worth yearly. 92% of this is industrial goods. We market 20,000 goods to over 200 countries. Half of these exports are made to high quality demand markets, Europe and America. One of every television sold in Europe is Turkish goods. One of every four home appliances are Turkish goods. The Turkish industrialist has brought the homeland of the automotive industry, the USA to the point of importing cars.

Where 30 years ago around 300,000 tourists visited the country yearly, today, we host 31 million tourists a year. It is the 7th most preferred tourism destination in the world. We have the second largest contracting force in the world after China. In environments that range between -40 Celsius degrees and +40 Celsius degrees, in 93 countries, we have successfully completed 6,500 projects worth a total sum of 205 billion Dollars. We are working in the harshest environments known to man. We say to Czech companies, come, let us invest together.

We put great importance on increasing the investment and trade between Turkey and the Czech Republic.”

- Hisarcıklıoğlu relates the difficulties experienced

Relating the difficulties they’ve faced in trade, TOBB/DEİK President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said:

“We put forth our wishes during your 2006 visit and signed an agreement with the Czech Industry Confederation. In this regard, in the last 5 years, Turkey’s imports from the Czech Republic have increased by 222%. However, our exports to the Czech Republic have remained at 52%.

- Visa problem

There’s a significant injustice here. This does not stem from the Czech Republic. As a country which has signed the Customs Union agreement with the EU, started membership negotiations, Turkey has problems 3 major subjects. One of these is the non-tariff documentation obstructing Turkish businessmen who would be marketing their goods through free trade and free transit. There is the matter of visas. Every time we want to buy goods from the Czech Republic, we are faced with a visa problem.

- Quota problem for transporters

Secondly, stemming especially from the EU, the problem of the quota applied to Turkish transportation firms. The movement of goods between Turkey and EU countries, however there is a quota on the vehicles doing the transporting. This is impossible to understand. We are blocked by quotas. We have resolved this problem in the Czech Republic; however, there is still a problem throughout Europe.

- Free Trade Agreement

Another matter of importance is the fact that if the EU signs a free trade agreement with any country in the world, Turkey is considered to have agreed by proxy. This means when the EU signs a free trade agreement with South Korea, South Korean goods will be able to enter Turkey without being subject to customs but Turkish goods will not have the same benefit when exporting to South Korea. EU is 27 countries plus Turkey. We should benefit from any free trade agreement.

- President of the Republic Abdullah Gül

In his speech, President of the Republic Abdullah Gül stated that Czech businessmen and the Czech industry has a special regard in Turkey and that Turkey’s dynamism and the success of Turkish businessmen is followed closely by the Czechs.

President Gül said, “Form partnerships in this regard, whether it is here in Turkey, in the Czech Republic, in another country in Europe or in far away geographies, let us work and benefit together.”

Stating that the Czech President Klaus is in a position to make comparisons in how Turkey has changed in the last 6 years, Gül said, “He’s had the opportunity to see the changes all the way from the airport to the center of the capital.

As he is an accomplished economist, I’m sure he is following the developments in Turkey closely. Therefore I think he is one of the best placed people to know just how far Turkey has come along in the last 6 years. I am aware of his familiarity from our discussions on the subject in many of our meetings.”

- “Without a doubt, the European market is the one that matters the most”

“We don’t want to only provide incentives,” stated President Gül and said, “The potential is great. We are especially aware of the Czech energy sector is successful in and outside Europe. We have a long standing partnership in this field. We can see the potential in cooperation and co-ventures together.”

- Czech President Klaus

The gear President Kalus, stating that it was his first visit to Turkey in 6 years, saidi “My visit has had a very friendly environment so far.”

Stating that the reason they are in Turkey is to diversify the trade between the two countries, Klaus said, “As the Czech Republic, we fully support Turkey’s EU membership.”

Stating that Turkey regards the European Union with rose colored glasses, Klaus said, “I think it would be wise to take off these glasses once in a while.”

- Deputy Prime Minister Babacan

The Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan stated that he believed the Forum would significantly contribute to the cooperation between the two countries, the development of economic and financial affairs and the deepening cooperation between the businessmen of the two countries.

Stating that Turkey had taken steps in banking and public finance prior to the global crisis, Babacan said that the reforms in social security and healthcare have been completed and that all the reforms which are now cause for debate in Europe have been completed in Turkey between 2002 and 2007.

- Energy and Natural Resources Deputy Minister Mercan

The Energy and Natural Resources Deputy Minister Mercan emphasized the importance of fostering cooperation between two countries in such meetings, stating that the visit by the Czech Republic President Klaus and the accompanying businessmen would strengthen both countries.

- Turkish-Czech Business Council Co-President Akıman

Turkish-Czech Business Council Co-President Nazmi Akıman stated that the close economic relations between the two countries are promising despite the fact that the foreign trade volume between the two countries did not exceed 2.5 billion Euros last year.

- Czech Industry Confederation President Hanak

Czech Industry Confederation President Jaroslav Hanak said that as businessmen who visited Turkey 6 years ago, they are more enthusiastic about doing business with Turkish companies.

Stating that the Czech Republic is among the top investors in Turkey, Hanak said that they wish to further develop cooperation in the fields of energy, mining, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, construction, IT and education. Hanak stated that Czech firms are excitedly await the chance to discuss trade and investments.

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