Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

The center of gravity of the world economy is shifting to Far Asia

24.11.2018 / İstanbul

TOBB President and CACCI Vice President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, in his speech at the 32nd CACCI Conference themed “Asia: Expanding Borders,” attended by the Minister of Commerce, Ruhsar Pekcan, said, “The Mediterranean was the ocean of the old world. The Atlantic is today's ocean. The Pacific is the ocean of the future. The center of gravity of the world economy is shifting to Far Asia.” Pointing out that the Pacific century has begun, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “All manner of products are produced here, in different quality and scales. With over 3 billion consumers, the largest global market is here. Both economic growth and the increase in imports of goods and services are above the world average. Therefore, the Asia Pacific region is becoming increasingly important for the global economy. It has a decisive power in the course of the world economy.”​

Minister of Commerce Ruhsar Pekcan and TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu addressed the economic actors of the Asia-Pacific region at the 32nd CACCI (Confederation of Asian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) followed by World Trade Organization Deputy Director Yi Xiaozhun giving his assessments.

TOBB President and CACCI Vice President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu pointed out the importance of İstanbul in the world. “Istanbul was the capital of 3 great empires and the only city in the world located simultaneously on two continents. Napoleon stressed the strategic importance of the city with, ‘If the world was a single country, its capital would be Istanbul.’” Hisarcıklıoğlu said that İstanbul New Airport, which opened last month and which is one of the largest in the world, will make İstanbul into a transit center.

Hisarcıklıoğlu, thanking Vice President Fuat Oktay and Minister of Trade Ruhsar Pekcan for their participation and contributions, congratulated the CACCI President Jemal Inaishvili on having taken on the mission of CACCI President from Samir Modi as of today.

- The shining star of Asia Pacific

Stating that the Asia Pacific region encompasses 40% of the world's population, 30% of global trade volume and 23% of the world's economic volume, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “More importantly, it is driving global growth. 60% of the growth in the world economy is provided by Asia-Pacific countries. While the economic growth in the world is 4%, it is over 5% in this region. So the Asia-Pacific continues to grow faster.

In addition, Asia Pacific countries are investing 470 billion USD internationally annually.

The world's 3 largest economies, the US, China and Japan are in the Pacific. For the first time in history, trade across the Pacific has overtaken the Atlantic. The 21st century is forecast to be ‘the Pacific Century.’

In this period of changing global balances, it is of great importance that the CACCI conference is being held in Turkey. Turkey; a country that exports 170 billion USD a year and exports 50 billion USD. It has the largest industrial production volume in this region.

The 6th largest supplier of the European Union. We want the Asia-Pacific business world to see Turkey's great potential. We aim to increase the trade and investments between us; to establish new cooperation and partnerships. We want a strong economic integration with the Asia-Pacific region. As TOBB, we consider CACCI members as strategic partners.”

- The opportunity to get closer

Stating that their vision is to ensure the implement a strong and lasting economic integration between the Asia-Pacific Region and the Turkish business world, Hisarcıklıoğlu noted that the CACCI Conference being hosted in Turkey makes it possible for business umbrella organizations and companies of the Asia-Pacific Region to meet with the Turkish business world. TOBB President and CACCI Vice President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said the conference is an important opportunity to bring Turkey closer with countries with which it has not established trade integration to the desired level, “Here, Turkey has business people from all sectors. The opinion leaders of Turkey's largest city, our Chamber and Exchange Presidents are here. Meet each other; exchange information. Talk about trade and investment opportunities.”

- Increased danger of protectionism

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that one of the biggest economic problems faced today is increasing protectionism, with the biggest loss experienced by developing countries. Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The World Trade Organization (WTO) has made the following assessment in its latest report:

G20 countries, which constitute the world's 20 largest economies, have taken 40 new restrictive measures to trade in the first half of 2018, totaling 480 billion USD. It has reached a record level in terms of increase. The United States is leading here. We must overcome this problem together. We need to identify commercial barriers between us and work with our governments to remove them. After that, our main agenda should be Trade Facilitation. I believe that trade is the greatest source of peace. Those engaged in trade don’t talk war. Increased trade ensures prosperity and development. Therefore, the development of trade between countries is the shortest route to global peace. I believe that the seeds we plant here will take hold; the Asia-Pacific countries and Turkey will be closer together.”

- Vice President Fuat Oktay

Vice President of Fuat Oktay said, “Our strong and practical action plans against speculative attacks on Turkey's economy as well as our New Economic Program for 2019-2021, shows Turkey with a firm stance to ensure the confidence of the global economic actors.”

In his speech at the 32nd CACCI Conference held at the Çırağan Palace under the auspices of the Presidency by TOBB and CACCI, Oktay, relayed the greetings of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, expressing pleasure in hosting the conference in Turkey.

Stating that the Asia-Pacific region is becoming the epicenter of world trade, Oktay said that the share of Asia-Pacific countries in the total global economy increased to 20% today in 2001, reaching 30% today.

Oktay emphasized that CACCI is important in terms of the role of the chambers of commerce in the development of the economic boundaries of Asia, regional economic integration and the possibility of a broad consultation on new economic trends. “The representation of approximately 3 million companies from 28 countries within CACCI is of the utmost importance in transforming positive momentum of our international relations into valuable, sustainable cooperation. It is also very pleasing that the professional parent organization in Turkey, the legal representative of the private sector and the host of this conference, TOBB is one CACCI’s prominent members.”

- Minister of Trade Ruhsar Pekcan

The Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan expressed her pleasure in attending the 32nd CACCI Conference.

Pekcan pointed out that it is important that young entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs and SMEs participated in the conference this year and said that the world economy cannot be interpreted correctly without understanding the developments in the Asia Pacific region.

Minister Pekcan noted that Asia is gradually increasing its weight in the global economy:

“While the share of Asia Pacific countries in the global economy was 23.1% in 2001, it increased to 29.7% in 2017. In the same period, the share of global exports increased from 25.8% to 33.7%. It clearly shows that the Asia Pacific region has become a new center of gravity for global production and trade.

Time will show us if this momentum will continue in this way. But one thing is certain: A competitive, industrialized, urbanized Asia must become a consumption economy in the near future. For this reason, the Asia Pacific Region has a strategic importance for the Turkish economy and Turkish exporter in the coming decades. As Turkey, we carry out policies based on this global mega-trend.”

Pekcan reported that, as the Ministry of Commerce, they have identified China and India as specific target countries and developed new strategies for these countries, with action plans are prepared on a sector and state basis.

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