Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Turkish business community convened at the B20 Forum with President Erdoğan

08.05.2015 / İstanbul

B20 Turkey Business Community Leaders Forum was held in İstanbul hosted by B20 Turkey and TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu. Attending the Forum were President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and prominent members of the Turkish business community.​

In his opening keynote, B20 Turkey and TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu touched on the G20 process, “G20 is a mechanism born of the inability of only 8 countries to direct global affairs. I view G20 as a mechanism which attempts to adept to current conditions of the day and support it as such. Because, we are living in very interesting times. We must face many global problems today.”


Hisarcıklıoğlu drew attention to the fact that stability has eluded global growth for the last 6 years and said, “While one part of the world recovers, another part regresses. Problems were present in the US and European Countries to begin with. They’ve started to recover while developing countries are experiencing problems today. In recent years, trade was the driving force behind global growth. Now, trade lacks the desired growth rate. This is reinforcing protective policies. In just the previous year, 4,436 protective regulations were enacted and 2,999 of these were enacted by G20 countries. Youth unemployment is at an all-time high. Various countries have reached 40% rates in unemployment. The non-inclusive policies of the last 30-40 years are resulting in growing inequality.


Inequality has gradually exceeded being an economic problem, becoming social in nature. The lack of security and increasing conflict at one time, I am convinced are related directly to non-inclusive policies.”


- Global economy transitioning to new monetary policy


Stating that the business community will be faced with a new problem in the short term, Hisarcıklıoğlu pointed out that the global economy is transitioning to a new monetary policy. Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The FED is making decisions in line with the direction of American politicians. These decisions are effecting the whole world. National decisions have global results. This is an extraordinary situation for us. This all goes to further illustrate how extensive global uncertainties are. These global problems require a global coordination mechanism in order to solve. G20 is very important in this regard.”


Stating that the global solutions of global problems can only be found via G20, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “An important opportunity to effect G20 leaders and to direct the global agenda is ahead of us. The game is being played in our home field this year.”


- B20 accomplishments


Stating that they began working hard from the day they took over from Australia as per President Erdoğan’s order, B20 Turkey and TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu reported that they have turned the B20, which was comprised of 250-300 companies into a global network of 1,000 establishments.


Hisarcıklıoğlu summarized the accomplishments of the B20 so far:


“We’ve established a strong leadership cadre by combining Turkish giants with global giants in B20’s ongoing fields of work in Trade, Infrastructure and Investment, Financing Growth, Employment and Anti-Corruption.


We will hand in our report which includes the expectations of the global business community in September. In November, we plan to directly convey these expectations to the G20 leaders under your leadership.


We have not limited our endeavors to Turkey. We’ve organized 13 meetings in 5 continents to promote both Turkey and the B20. Six of these meetings have taken place. We’ve traveled a total of 158,000 kilometers so far, the equivalent of circumnavigating the globe 4 times over. We’ve met with the leaders of the global business community.


With the adoption of our government, we’ve opened up the ‘giants’ club’ B20 to SMEs. We have brought the questions of growing SMEs and how to form partnerships with large companies to the table in both G20 and B20.


We did not stop there. We’ve laid the foundation for the World SME Forum. We are establishing an international institution to address the issues and problems of SMEs, to lobby in their interest and to protect them on the international level. This endeavor has found support from all G20 governments, the World Bank as well as the OECD.


Six months ago, they were saying that Turkey would not be able to show presence as G20 Term Chair. Today, we’ve shown how Turkey, its government and business community can appoint an agenda. We will continue to do our best for our country in the upcoming Antalya Summit in November.”


- Erdoğan’s call to businesspeople


President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in regards to ensure greater growth and employment, said in his speech, “It is imperative that our policies and decision are adopted.”


Stating that being G20 Term Chair presents Turkey with great opportunities, Erdoğan pointed out that it also brings great responsibility.


Erdoğan said, “This platform is providing the necessary environment for cooperation in these days in which economic relations and human mobility is on the rise.”


President Erdoğan went on to stress the importance of strengthening the foundations of the global economy, combating structural problems and decreasing unemployment.


- G20 Summit


Erdoğan stated that the G20 Leaders’ Summit which will take place in Antalya on the 15th and 16th of November will be different from all other summits held until that day and will become a milestone for the future in terms of its determining nature. He went on to stress the importance of G20 becoming more inclusive for its legitimacy. Stating that the business community and the B20 is very important for their efforts, he said, “We have always been a great proponent for private sector driven growth and employment.”


TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu presented President Erdoğan with an appreciation plaque after which he left the summit.


- Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan


Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan stated that it is their goal to render B20 active in all G20 agendas and went on to stress the importance of being G20 Term Chair for Turkey.


Babacan emphasized that their priorities as G20 are inclusiveness, implementation and investment.


Going on to stress the importance of private sector driven growth, Babacan pointed to the vital importance of stability, trust and credibility for growth.

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