Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

“Success in Turkey’s membership talks with the EU will benefit all of Europe”

16.10.2013 / İstanbul

The President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and the Vice President of EUROCHAMBRES, Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Success in Turkey’s membership talks with the EU will benefit all of Europe. Past experiences have shown that expansion is a win-win situation for all involved.”​

During his speech at the EUROCHAMBRES Economic Forum held at the Golden Horn Congress Hall, Hisarcıklıoğlu voiced his assessments on the issues of Turkey-EU relations, the financial crisis, the Transatlantic Agreement and the success of the private sector in Turkey.


Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The European Union is showing a general tendency to leave the economic crisis behind. The recession, which has lasted for nearly 6 quarters, ended on the 2nd quarter of 2013. Turkey, which is a part of the European economy, is directly effected by the developments in the European economy. Turkey is the 7th largest supplier in Europe. Our share of the European market is 2.7%. We rank 5th in Europe’s export markets. Turkey’s share of Europe’s exports is 4.7%. Consequently, Turkey and Europe are like the two sides of the same coin. The problems of the one effect the other. On the other hand we are able to positively impact each other as well.


In short our business communities are already partners. The figures show that Turkey will not be a burden for Europe – quite the contrary, it will help shoulder Europe’s burdens. The way to overcoming the stagnation in Europe’s economy is through increased integration and expansion. Success in Turkey’s membership talks with the EU will benefit all of Europe. Past experiences have shown that expansion is a win-win situation for all involved. Many EU citizens have lost confidence in their governments. Only 30% are behind integration. We must focus on this as the European business community. We must emphasize the advantages of being a unified and joint European market.”


Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the global crisis has shown the importance of staying competitive and said that it was necessary to take steps to protect SMEs.


Talking about the success of the private sector in regards to Turkey’s economy, Hisarcıklıoğlu reported that Turkey was the only OECD country to not need direct monetary aid from public administration.


- EU Minister Bağış


The European Union Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bağış stated that it was a pleasure to be hosting their guests in İstanbul. Bağış reported that Turkey was drifting away from Europe with each passing day as a result of the extremely prolonged membership process.


Stating that Turkey’s membership is a process to globalize the peace project embodied in the EU, Bağış said that if Turkey becomes a member, free from prejudice, it could greatly benefit EU as well as rendering the European Union a more influential actor in global affairs.


- Customs and Commerce Minister Yazıcı


Customs and Commerce Minister Hayati Yazıcı stated that trade should not only be a simple give and take but should be to construct cultural bridges, to serve the world and humanity.


Yazıcı stated that the Akhism culture, the basis of the chamber/exchange system, dictates that ethical value supersede all economic activities.


Emphasizing that ensuring a just global economic structure is a priority; Yazıcı said that, even within Europe, there exists a great wealth disparity.


Touching on the subject of Turkey’s EU membership, Minister Yazıcı said that Turkey is in a better position than some EU member countries in regards to the Maastricht criteria; budget deficit ratio to GNP as well as lower business risk.


- EUROCHAMBRES President Barberis


EUROCHAMBRES President Alessandro Barberis stated that the Economic Forum has an important function in the decision making process of the business community and that chambers demand global policy solutions.


- EU Council Chairman Van Rompuy


EU Council Chairman Herman Van Rompuy took part in the Forum via a recorded video message, stating that Europe has never needed unity and solidarity more than it does now.


He stated that although the threats to the Euro have been removed, the Euro zone economy is still below what it used to be in 2007.

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