Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Leader of the global economy convened at TOBB

06.03.2014 / Ankara

The first 2014 Board Meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) was held at the TOBB Union Center, hosted by TOBB and ICC Turkey President, ICC Board Member M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu. Speaking at the press conference held prior to the meeting, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the driving force behind global economy for the last 60 years has been international trade and said, “From here on out, global development will be sustained by trade.”​

Attending the press conference were TOBB and ICC Turkey President, ICC Board Member Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, ICC President and McGraw Hill Financial President Harold McGraw, Nokia Advisory Partner and Finland former Prime Minister Esko Aho, Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Doha Insurance Compnay Board Member Khalifa Bin Jassim Al Thani, World Chambers Federation Peter Mihok, Daesung Industrial President Young Tae Kim, Bank of China Aviation Board Chairman Yanling Zhang and ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier.


Hisarcıklıoğlu introduced all ICC Board Members one by one, providing information on their background as well as their duties within the ICC Board.


Speaking about the foundation of the ICC, TOBB and ICC Turkey President, ICC Board Member M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The ICC was founded in 1919 by a group of entrepreneurs in order to heal the wounds of WWI. They had a shared goal: To bring prosperity to the world. The group called themselves ‘the merchants of peace’ took on great risk by forming this international organization during the 20th century, a time rocked by global upheaval.


This presented such a risk in that there existed no system in the world then similar to what is present today in regards to global trade, investment and financial relations. In fact, there wasn’t really much in terms of international organizations,” said Hisarcıklıoğlu and stated that the merchants of peace brought together the representatives of private sectors of various countries under a single banner in a world beset by enmity.


- “The world needs joint action”


Stating that the world is no longer as it was in the past, Hisar4cıklıoğlu said that complex global economic structure requires joint action. Emphasizing that G20, the platform which brings together the largest economies of the world, is developing joint actions in order to revitalize global growth and increase employment, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The driving force behind global economy for the last 60 years has been international trade and from here on out, global development will be sustained by trade.”


Hisarcıklıoğlu went on to say in regards to the increasing importance of the union of ICC and G20 which act together for the development of international trade, “I was in Sidney along with the Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan last week for G20 meetings. We exchanged ideas on how to increase infrastructure investments with leaders of the business world and governments. This is of vital importance for us. The global economy is in need of 57 trillion USD of investments until the year 2030. If precautions aren’t taken 20 trillion USD worth of these projects will be shelved.


This would cause the slowing down of global economic growth and the loss of 160 to 200 million job losses worldwide. This is why G20 governments are in search of infrastructure investments.”


- Turkey will take over presidency of the G20 in 2015


Reporting that they are formulating solutions for these matters as the ICC, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that ICC has successfully relayed the views of the business world to the G20 Advisory Group and the G20 leaders.


TOBB and ICC Turkey President, ICC Board Member M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu reminded that the G20 term presidency would pass to Turkey in 2015 and emphasized the importance of this process.


- ICC President McGraw


ICC President Harold McGraw stated that Turkey is on the path of development and said, “Credit rating institutions will take this kind of development into consideration.”


In regards to a question on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement between the USA and the EU as well as Turkey’s role, McGraw stated that both the USA and the EU are greatly interested. On Turkey’s role, McGraw said, “This will depend on Turkey’s relations with the EU. If Turkey becomes an EU country, it automatically becomes a member of the TTIP. It is possible to have a free trade agreement between Turkey and the USA, however we are focused on the Transatlantic and Turkey’s inclusion via EU membership.”


On Turkey’s credit rating in regards to the developments of recent months, McGraw stated that credit rating institutions including Standard and Poors need to be ideologically independent. Pointing out Turkey’s resilience against the global financial crisis, McGraw reported that they expect 3.5% growth in 2014-2015.


Regarding the political developments of recent months, McGraw said that political results would be determined by the Turkish people.


Stating that the promise of growth for Turkey continue, McGraw said, “The process of increasing life standards has begun, there is no turning back.”

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