Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Gaziantep's stars awarded

11.12.2019 / Gaziantep

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu attended the Stars of Gaziantep Award Ceremony and presented awards to the industrialists who gave strength to the city's economy. TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, expressed his support for Gaziantep Chamber of Industry’s ' industry transformation begins' campaign and tweeted on the issue.​

In addition to TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, Gaziantep Governor David Gul and Gaziantep Chamber of Industry President Adnan Ünverdi attended the award ceremony held at the Martyr Kamil Cultural Center with the contributions of Gaziantep Chamber of Industry.

In his speech, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that unity and solidarity are behind the success in Gaziantep, and that the tight-knit actions of the city makes it a brand city.

- The star of the region: Gaziantep

Stating that Gaziantep is a symbol of Turkey's transformation in the last 35 years, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “I remember 35 years ago there was nothing in Gaziantep. People used to go shopping in Adana. Now it is the star not only of Turkey, but of the whole region. I say clearly Gaziantep has been the role model and driving force of the whole region. Not only Turkey, cities in foreign countries are following the example of Gaziantep.

Turkey's exports have increased by 65% in the last 10 years. Gaziantep's exports increased by 160% during the same period. Gaziantep exports $7.5 billion annually. It became a brand not only in industry but in agriculture. It ranked fifth in agricultural exports.

Gaziantep has taken a great leap forward in tourism. It has become a world brand both in history, cultural tourism and gastronomy tourism. It is on UNESCO's list. Additionally it has made a breakthrough in technology. Gaziantep Technopark was voted the second fastest-growing technopark.

Now, 2020 Technofest will be held in Gaziantep. Now the city is making a breakthrough in e-commerce. It's also becoming the center of electronic commerce. The city, top to bottom, with its people and its economy is a brand in and of itself. Gaziantep has done all this in 35 years.”

- Praise for the chambers and commodity exchanges in Gaziantep

Hisarcıklıoğlu stressed that Gaziantep Chamber of Industry, Chamber of Commerce, Commodity Exchange, Nizip Chamber of Commerce and the Commodity Exchange are accredited, 5-star chambers and exchanges. Hisarcıklıoğlu said he believes the Islahiye Chamber of Commerce will soon be accredited as well.

Hisarcıklıoğlu summarized the work of chambers and stock exchanges: “Gaziantep Chamber of Industry established a Vocational Training Center and ranked at the World Chambers Congress. They established a Women Entrepreneur Support Center. SME Transformation Center is being established. In addition to the 6 OIZs, 2 more are under construction. Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce is carrying out the EU-Turkey Trade Integration Project and the e-export mobilization project. They’ve established the Academy of Gastronomy. They won the project competition at the World Chambers Congress. Gaziantep Commodity Exchange is establishing the licensed pistachio warehouse. They are setting up Meat Exchange. Gaziantep's products are owned and branded. They received the geographic markers for 12 products. It is the Commodity Exchange with the most geographic markers in Turkey.

We also benefit from the experience of my Presidents of Gaziantep in Ankara. Gaziantep Chamber of Industry President Adnan Ünverdi: Vice President of the Council of Chambers of Industry. Gaziantep CI Council Speaker Adil Konukoğlu are providing their experience in the TOBB General Executive Board, TOBB Arbitration Court, Council of Chambers of Industry, TOBB Investment Incentive Workgroup. Gaziantep CC President Mehmet Tuncay Yıldırım: Vice-President of the Council of Chambers of Commerce, member of TOBB High Coordination Committee. He is a member of KOSGEB General Administrative Board. Gaziantep CC Council Member Gülseren Hülya Akkaya: TOBB Women's Studies Board Chair. Gaziantep CE President Mehmet Akıncı: Member of the Council of Commodity Exchanges. Gaziantep CE Council Speaker Ahmet Tiryakioğlu: Member of the TOBB General Administrative Board. At the Board of Directors of Lidaş, TOBB Agriculture and Livestock Workgroup. Nizip CC President Mehmet Özyurt: In the Council of Chambers of Commerce. Nizip CE President Ibrahim Sarı: Turkish National ICC Committee Board Member. Selahattin Turkmen, President of Islahiye CC: Vice President of TOBB R&D Innovation Board.”

- What has TOBB done recently?

Stressing that TOBB and Chamber-Exchange community are working to support the business world and facilitate business, Hisarcıklıoğlu reported that, working with the government, they have enacted reforms that improve the business and investment environment in the country. Hisarcıklıoğlu summed up these works:

“According to the World Bank Doing Business Index, we were ranked 60th in the world in 2018, first to 43rd in 2019 and to 33rd this year. This is the first time in our history that we've been so high. We, as TOBB, undertook the coordination of the private sector in this business. We have developed solutions to the problems that come from you and our members and put them on the YOIKK agenda. Now the goal is to be one of the top 20 countries, that's what we're working for. On the other hand, together with our Minister of National Education, we have started an initiative that we have always dreamed of in vocational education. Our rooms will match with a vocational high school in each province, where they will have a say. For example, our school in Gaziantep was Mehmet Akif Ersoy Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School. Gaziantep was already an exemplary city in vocational education. Thanks to this new cooperation, I hope that we will raise vocational education to the highest level all over Turkey.

We had a big complaint in the judicial system. Even the simplest case didn't end in less than a year.

Together, we have enabled our Minister of Justice to activate the mediation system. First in worker-employer disputes, then in commercial cases, mediation was made mandatory. The number of files here has reached 1 million. Of these, 65-70% resulted in an agreement. The trials that used to last for years ended in days and weeks. And what happens if you don't agree on mediation? Then come to the TOBB Arbitration instead of the court. Resolve in 6 months at the latest. It's cheaper and faster than the court. All you have to do is write 'TOBB Arbitration is authorized in the event of a dispute' in your contract.

Again, there was one thing we've been working on for a long time: Commercial credit insurance. We've made sure that steps are taken. Sixteen insurance companies are now providing this service. One major complaint was the POS commissions. We lobbied for it with our chambers. We have introduced an upper limit of 1.60% for POS commissions. In order to bring more women entrepreneurs to our country, our board of women entrepreneurs has started many new projects. We worked with Google, Turkcell, Facebook, Coca-Cola and Amazon. We taught thousands of women e-commerce and entrepreneurship and taught them how to code. And our women worked with great determination.

In the last 10 years, we have doubled the number of women entrepreneurs.”

TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu underlining that there is nothing that cannot be accomplished when we join hands; when public-private sectors work together; when consultation and common cause prevails, urged everyone to not alienate each other.

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