Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Zeytinoğlu elected IKV President for the 4th time

20.09.2021 / İstanbul

The 59th General Meeting of the Foundation for Economic Development (IKV) was held at the foundation's headquarters in İstanbul. Ayhan Zeytinoğlu, Vice President of TOBB Board of Directors and President of Kocaeli Chamber of Industry (KSO), who has been IKV President for 3 terms, was elected president for the 4th time.​

Ayhan Zeytinoğlu stated that vaccination efforts continued to accelerate, “With the increase of vaccinations, normalization of the economy accelerated. When we look at the current data, we see that monthly export records have been broken 10 times in the past 12 months. When we look at Europe's share of exports, it is possible to better understand the importance of the EU in terms of the foreign market. Turkey's exports to European Union countries increased by 42 percent throughout January-June compared to the same period last year to 40,857,072,000 dollars. Exports to the EU accounted for 38.92 percent of total exports. With the re-acceleration of service sectors such as industrial production, the economy is on a more positive course.”

Zeytinoğlu stated that they are working to solve some structural problems, especially inflation, “The need to adapt to the transformation in the EU, our largest foreign market, poses an additional challenge. The EU has adopted the European Green Deal and Digitalization as a 'twin goal'. It is very important that we can keep up with this rapid change, which is seen all over the world and is even more prominent in Europe. We must take radical steps for green and digital transformation in the economy so that we can maintain our current market share in Europe and cope with increasing competition.”

Zeytinoğlu said that in this context, with the 'Carbon Regulation Mechanism at the Border', there will be carbon pricing for exports to the EU in 5 energy-intensive product groups, which means an additional cost in exports.

Emphasizing that the final goal should continue to be full membership, Zeytinoğlu said, “Turkey's equal side at the table in EU decision-making processes is an uncompromising goal. As IKV, we continue our march on the path drawn to us by our founders 56 years ago and our trustees and supporting organizations, especially TOBB.”

Zeytinoğlu continued: “Without missing the global agenda, we focus on EU and Turkey-EU relations and serve our research and activities with the goal of turkey not to stay outside Europe and to strengthen its integration with the EU. IKV has various tasks such as analysis, research, opinion building, directing public opinion, guiding business, representation in the EU. In fulfilling these tasks, we need to take into account global trends and conditions in the EU and Turkey.

Since the last general assembly, the normalization process after Covid-19 and the twin transformations I mentioned have dominated the agenda. In addition, one issue that we have been closely monitoring recently is the Brexit process. However, Brexit is not the end of the EU, as some skeptics in Turkey have predicted. On the contrary, the EU has taken steps to strengthen itself. London, one of the most important capitals in the world in terms of financial markets, lagged behind Amsterdam in trading volume after Brexit.”

Attending the General Assembly, where a 17-member board of directors and a 2-member supervisory board were elected were Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs EU President Ambassador Mr. Faruk Kaymakcı, TOBB Vice President Ali Kopuz, İstanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) Vice President Irfan Özhamaratlı, İstanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) President Şekip Avdagiç and Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) President İsmail Gülle, KSO Council President Hasan Tahsin Tuğrul, Kocaeli Chamber of Commerce (KOTO) President Necmi Bulut, IKV General Assembly delegates, trustees, foundation supporters and guests.

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