Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

The banks close the umbrella in rainy weather and open it in sunny weather

08.08.2017 / Kütahya

speaking at the joint review meeting organized jointly by Kütahya Commerce and Industry Chamber and Kütahya Commodity Exchange, TOBB President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that during crisis, trade and industry profitability is declining, while the banks' profits increase by 50%. Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The banks shut the umbrella in the rainy weather and open it in the sunny weather.”​

Hisarcıklıoğlu said that the way to build the future is through being hopeful and he said that very important steps have been taken to open up the way for industrialists and traders.

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the Employment Mobilization has provided historical opportunities and stated that 1.6 million additional jobs have been created since January 2017. TOBB President, “When you have a new hire, employment costs are completely offset by the government for the first three months with tax and premiums being similarly offset until the end of 2017.”

Starting his speech by expressing his joy in being in Kütahya, Hisarcıklıoğlu mentioned that it is his seventh visit to the city. TOBB President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu extended his thanks and congratulations to Kütahya CCI Chair Nafi Güral, “September of 2016: We laid the foundations of Nafi Güral’s factory and, following the coup attempt of July 15th, we demonstrated the courage of our community and unity in favor of democracy. Nafi Güral named the factory July 15 Martyrs Ceramic Factory. That means a lot. This shows the national stance of both the Güral family, and this community. I congratulate them.”

- Kütahya: The shining new star of Anatolia

Reminding that there were joint meetings in Kütahya then, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Many of you have shared your troubles and suggestions with the government; we followed up and brought these to a close. We have ensured that very important reforms are passed. Kütahya is the new, shining, industrial center of Anatolia. Istanbul, Bursa, Kocaeli are no longer able to support any more. Kütahya is becoming an attractive center for investors. Its ceramics, glass and porcelain have already become world brands. In the meantime, you are making your name be heard in the automotive subsidiary circles. You’ve started to produce original parts for world famous vehicle manufacturers. 8 companies started production in Kütahya in this field. Thermal and health tourism also has great potential having drawn tourism investors with 11 thermal springs and 7 thermal tourism centers. The first commodity exchange of the ancient world is here, in the ancient city of Aizanoi (in the province of Çavdarhisar in Kütahya). As TOBB, we helped with the restoration of the Aizona Antique Exchange. Look, half of Kütahya is covered with forests. Inshallah you will protect and preserve this beautiful land Allah has granted you and make your name heard around the world.”

- Kütahya economy

Hisarcıklıoğlu, providing information about the Kütahya economy, talked about the city's priorities. Despite having 4 active OIZs in operation, TOBB President stated that this is not enough. He noted that a 5th was established earlier this year. Hisarcıklıoğlu spoke about the work of establishing the Kütahya Free Trade Zone, praising the geographical marker application for the Kütahya Porcelain. M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, stated that the completion of the electricity and gas installation for the Zafer OIZ, linking roads to the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge and the integration of the existing railway with the high-speed train line are the priorities of Kütahya.

- What did the chamber/exchange community do? What did we ask for and what did we get?

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that there are those who ask what the chambers and commodity exchanges do, said: "Chambers – commodity exchanges are doing so much but we are unable to convey all of it to our members.”

Stating that chambers and commodity exchanges have mobilized all their resources in order to provide respite to SMEs in December, 2016, Hisarcıklıoğlu said: “We ensure low interest rates, lower than that of the Central Bank to banks, and access to financial tools. We provided a loan volume of 5 billion liras, 27,000 companies have benefited from it. We have been an example for low interest loan applications. KOSGEB Zero-Interest Enterprise Loan Support provided 260,000 SMEs with 6.5 billion TL interest-free financing support in 2017.

With the Credit Guarantee Fund, we have vouched for 313,000 companies, 89% of which are SMEs. We have vouched for approximately 250 billion liras in loans. With these three mechanisms we have reached 600,000 companies. There is no chamber - commodity exchange system in the world like this. What more should these chambers/exchanges do? We have given credit to or have been guarantor for 60% of our 1 million members.”

The TOBB President, listed their requests of the government as a community and what they’ve received: “What did we demand? Support SMEs who are in trouble paying. What happened? The December-January-February SSI premiums were shifted to October-November-December without interest. Employers employing 11.2 million employees benefited from this.

What did we demand? Restoration of confidence in cheques. What happened? Prison sentences were reinstated. QR Coded Cheques have become compulsory.

What did we demand? Those who pay their taxes regularly should be awarded. What happened? Taxpayers who both paid their tax on time and fully fulfilled their retrospective obligations received a 5% discount.

What did we demand? Support for employment. What happened? Employment mobilization was initiated. When you hire a new employee, costs of first three months are all offset by the government, and until the end of 2017, taxes and premiums will also be offset by the government. 1.6 million additional jobs have been provided since January 2017.

What did we demand? Business Health / Safety legislation puts great burdens on SMEs. What happened? For workplaces with less than 50 employees and with less hazardous class work environments, obligatory hire of work safety specialist and workplace physician has been postponed from July 1st, 2017 to July 1st, 2020.

What did we demand? Reduce the financial burden on the industrialists. What happened? Production Reform Package has been enacted. Real estate tax has been removed from buildings in the industrial and production areas. 2% TRT in electricity usage tax has been removed from registered industrial establishments. No permit necessary to work on the weekend. Some stamp tax practices and fees are being removed. There will be no stamp fees from land allocations and fees from real estate transactions. OIZ investors will be able to mortgage their land deeds in accessing financing.

What did we demand? Support local production, provide priority in public procurement. What happened? Domestically produced have received a 15% price advantage in public goods procurement tenders. In the past, domestic production accounted for only 8% of commodity purchases. In 2016, this rate has reached 42%. That is, the share of domestic products has increased to 5 times what it was. Thanks to this, 49 billion liras worth of additional work, domestic production created. Domestic Goods Certificates can be given by Chambers / Commodity Exchange.

What did we demand? 60% of the economy comes from domestic consumption. Similar to 2009, we need to stimulate domestic consumption. What happened? VAT discount in the housing and in furniture, Special Tax exemption for home appliances. Home appliance sales increased by 32%, furniture sales by 30% and housing sales increased by 6%. The discount period was extended from 3 months to 6 months.

We provided free examinations at TOBB MEYBEM (Vocational Qualification and Documentation Centers). Exam will be free until 31.12.2017. The exam has international validity. What will the employer earn? SSI incentives. If the current employee receives the document, the company is exempt from SSI employer premiums for 12 months. If a worker with a document is hired, the company is exempt from SSI employer premium for 54 months.

What will the chambers-commodity exchanges? Those who provide the service bring it to their members in their own city. They’re getting prestige. There's no budget used. They receive a share of exam costs.”

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