Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

TOBB held an international consultation meeting for the post-epidemic period

02.07.2010 / Ankara

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they are in consultation with all stakeholders at home and abroad from day one in the process of the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, and said, “Now, we are working to understand and adapt to the post-Covid-19 period.”​

A meeting was hosted by TOBB in regards to the post-Covid-19 pandemic period, where the current situation was discussed with representatives of international organizations; future expectations were discussed, and global trade predictions were assessed.

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated in his speech at the videoconference meeting that the pandemic presents the greatest global crisis since the Second World War.

Describing their strategy as TOBB throughout the process, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “From the very onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, TOBB has been in consultation with all stakeholders at home and abroad. Within the country, we compiled and relayed on the problems, demands and recommendations of our business people to the government. Thus, we contributed to the process of preparing support packages for the economy. Now, we are working to understand and adapt to the post-Covid-19 period.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu, in regards to the new era, said they are seeking the answers to questions such as, “Where does the global trading system go? What challenges and opportunities do the European Union (EU), USA, China, Asia-Pacific and developing countries expect? In short, where is the world going and are we ready for the global trends that are expected to change?”

- “It is important for countries in the region to increase cooperation”

Samir Modi, President of the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), said they represent more than 40% of the total world's population, citing regional economic growth and a confederation that seeks to improve interaction between the business community.

Noting the size of the Covid-19 outbreak, Modi said: “The epidemic was a shock to the global economy, leading to recession in many countries. Due to Covid-19, economic losses around the world are expected to reach $8.5 trillion by 2021. This is thought to be the deepest recession since World War II. The pandemic has affected the whole world. A significant amount of the world's population lives in poverty. According to the IMF, this poverty will increase even more because of Covid-19.”

Global trade is expected to fall to $2.6 trillion, which would result in major job losses in Asia-Pacific countries, Modi said, adding that the pandemic has made it evident that the global economy must be made more resilient to economic shocks. Modi noted that it is very important for countries in the region to increase cooperation and the private sector to increase co-operation to reduce the effects of the pandemic.

- “There are lessons which can be learned”

Former European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen also commented on the developments in the EU this term.

Pointing out that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way they do business, Verheugen said, “We have not yet reached the post-Covid-19 period and peak period. We don't know how the final result of these developments will emerge. There are already lessons to be learned, and this process cannot be overcome by selfishness, isolation or national actions. It is important to give a global response to this crisis with solidarity, cooperation and sharing experience.”

Stressing that the conference is a call to more global cohesion, Verheugen said the EU has very important issues such as lack of vision for the future, the refugee issue, populism and Brexit.

Verheugen said Brexit is an important example of a dissolution within the EU, so far negotiations for a final deal have not yielded a result, and it is not clear whether a deal can be reached by the end of the year.

The EU will fight politically and economically, Verheugen said, “Both Turkey needs the EU and the EU needs Turkey.”

Verheugen said the best thing to do in this process would be to collect the low hanging fruit, noting: “One of them is visa liberalization. This can be done immediately and a reconsideration of the Customs Union is an important issue. In fact, I do not understand why the EU does not give Turkey the privileges it grants to Norway regarding the Customs Union.”

- “2020 is a very critical period”

Youssef Khalawi, Secretary General of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, said the world is facing a global crisis, both in health and economic terms, because of the pandemic.

Khalawi explained that 2020 is a critical period, and that global economic growth forecasts for this year have been negative.

Khalawi stated that his predictions are positive next year, “We learned from the pandemic 5 lessons. The first is 'digital transformation is a necessity', the second is the 'importance of developing e-commerce', the third is 'the need to improve the infrastructure of logistics services', the fourth is 'compliance with the change in the supply chain', and the fifth is 'the search for a new model for global tourism'. Every country should do its best on these issues. The growth locomotive of economies should be innovation, entrepreneurship, regional integration.”

Name Surname
Your Email
Your Friend's Email
Your Note
Your message has been sent
Thank you